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Some Hot Spots Remain : Laguna Blaze Contained; Cost Put at $1.1 Millionf

Times Staff Writer

Firefighters were finally able Wednesday night to contain the blaze on Mt. Laguna that has charred more than 4,650 acres, officials said.

“It’s looking good,” said Chris Cundari, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry. Contained means the blaze has been stopped from spreading. The fire is not expected to be completely doused until Tuesday, Cundari said.

“There are still a lot of hot spots, burning cinders and smoke in the area,” Cundari said.

No structures have been damaged by the fire, which investigators believe was sparked by a smoldering cigarette tossed away by a careless hiker or camper Sunday morning.

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Several campgrounds were evacuated or closed as a precaution. About 1,100 firefighters from throughout Southern California were still battling the fire, which began in an area known as Thing Valley.

As of Wednesday evening, only two engines and about eight firefighters remained, Cundari said.

Firefighting Cost $1.1 Million

The cost of fighting the blaze is expected to reach $1.1 million, Cundari said. The blaze has charred brushland in the Cleveland National Forest and Cuyapaipe Indian reservation.

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Eight firefighters have suffered minor injuries, said Audrey Hagen, a CDF spokeswoman.

On Wednesday, the fire was moving northeast, away from the campgrounds and residences that had been threatened earlier in the week, Hagen said.

Calmer winds assisted firefighters contain the blaze, Hagen said. Eight air tankers and eight helicopters were used to support ground units.

Sunrise Highway north of Interstate 8 was reopened Wednesday, after having been closed for much of Monday and Tuesday.

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