100 Acres Burn in San Dimas; Residents Flee
A new fire in Los Angeles County erupted Friday afternoon in the brushy hills of San Dimas, growing so quickly that some residents were forced to flee before evacuations were called.
At the outset, the flames pushed ahead by light winds found plenty of fuel in grass, brush and trees. No property damage or injuries were reported from the blaze, which had burned about 100 acres. About 20 homes were evacuated.
The cause of the fire was apparently a spark from a wood chipper machine, said Rob Graham, a Los Angeles County fire spokesman.
The blaze was reported shortly after 4 p.m. at cul-de-sac enclaves near San Dimas Avenue and Foothill Boulevard. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Bailey said an evacuation was called for areas north of the burn about 25 miles east of Los Angeles.
About 50 youths in a juvenile detention facility were moved out of their dormitories and carried blankets to shield them from smoke.
County fire spokesman Rob Graham said 280 firefighters, a water-dropping helicopter and two fixed-wing aircraft were dropping water on the flames.
With several other fires around the county, Graham said, “We are definitely being challenged.”
The San Dimas fire came as firefighters were starting to turn the tide against a 21,000-acre fire that has swept across open country around Castaic Lake since Monday.
A Fire Department spokesman said that with “other fires that are occurring around L.A. County and the California area, we are definitely being challenged.”