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Fire at Vandenberg Air Force Base 70% contained; Elysian Park blaze extinguished

The Canyon fire burns at the Vandenberg Air Force Base on Monday. It's now 70% contained.
(Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

A wildfire burning on Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc was 70% contained Thursday, Air Force officials said.

The Canyon fire has burned 12,518 acres on the South Base portion of the military facility.

There was “minimal fire activity” Wednesday night, the Air Force said in a statement. Crews were working Thursday to build containment lines and eliminate hot spots, hoping to make progress despite high winds forecast for Thursday.

Teams from the 30th Space Wing based at Vandenberg were planning to reenter South Base to assess the damage. All off-base evacuation orders were lifted Thursday morning, officials said.

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A Ventura County firefighter was killed and another injured Wednesday in a rollover crash on the westbound California 246 near Lompoc as they were hauling water to fight the Canyon fire.

The water tender struck a curb within a roundabout at Purisima Road and overturned, according to the California Highway Patrol. When CHP officers arrived, they found the firefighter trapped in the passenger seat.

The Ventura County Fire Department identified him as fire engineer Ryan Osler. The second firefighter, who has not been identified, suffered minor injuries.

The firefighters were among more than 1,000 personnel assigned to the blaze.

Meanwhile, firefighters in Los Angeles on Thursday knocked down a 6.3-acre brush fire that started at 11:45 a.m. in Elysian Park near Dodger Stadium.

A water-dropping helicopter aided about 100 firefighters as they attacked the flames “hard and fast from the ground and the air,” the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement.

Strong winds are forecast for portions of Southern California throughout the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

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Forecasters warned that powerful Santa Ana winds and low humidity — combined with drought-dried brush — could pose a significant fire risk in Los Angeles and Ventura counties this weekend. Wind gusts of up to 40 mph are possible.

By Sunday, temperatures could reach triple digits in the valleys.

hailey.branson@latimes.com | Twitter: @haileybranson

veronica.rocha@latimes.com | Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA

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