LOCAL : Brush Fire in Valley Controlled

From Times Staff and wire service reports

About 300 firefighters contained a wind-whipped brush fire in Chatsworth this morning before it endangered nearby homes, authorities said.

The fire forced the closure of exits and entrances of the Simi Valley Freeway at Topanga Canyon Boulevard and caused a rush-hour traffic backup.

Los Angeles city and county firefighters and three helicopters took about two hours to contain the 10-acre blaze that started about 6 a.m. just southwest of the freeway interchange.

Firefighters said that winds gusting up to 60 m.p.h. spread the blaze quickly but that moisture from recent rain in the area may have helped contain the fire.

Authorities said the blaze apparently was ignited when a mattress fell off a vehicle on the freeway and caught fire after it was struck by a car.

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