Glendale brush fire controlled

A brush fire along the Glendale-Los Angeles boundary Tuesday briefly threatened hillside homes, snarled freeway traffic and prompted voluntary evacuations before firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control.

Firefighters made a stand in the evening along Glenoaks Boulevard in Glendale, beating back flames as they approached homes in a nearby canyon, said Capt. Vincent Rifino of the Glendale Fire Department.

If the blaze had jumped that line, it would have burned homes in Glenoaks Canyon. That area was placed under voluntary evacuation, Rifino said.

Firefighters had the blaze 70% contained by 8 p.m., said Ritch Wells, spokesman for the city of Glendale.

Earlier in the evening, an evacuation center was set up at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, and two lanes of the 134 Freeway were shut down, according to the California Highway Patrol.

In all, more than 180 firefighters from five agencies battled the blaze, which began shortly after 4 p.m. when several small fires broke out in a brushy area near Eagle Rock Hillside Park in Los Angeles, authorities said.

Rifino said firefighters made an early stand near the park but the blaze jumped the line. "It spotted over them," he said.

The Los Angeles Fire Department, which provided five water-dropping helicopters, was able to use its new Erickson Air Crane copter for the first time.

The aircraft holds 2,650 gallons of water, about four times the amount of the agency's other helicopters, said department spokesman Devin Gales.

"It worked just fine," he said.

He said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

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