Residents were breathing a little easier Tuesday night as flames
receded in a 1,100 acre fire that had threatened their homes the day
The blaze that has burned mostly on the Glendale side of the
Verdugo Mountains was about 70% contained on Tuesday night, Glendale
Fire officials said.
The fire, which at its peak early Tuesday was being battled by
more than 600 firefighters and water-carrying helicopters and
airplanes, is considered suspicious in origin.
Officials cut back to 100 firefighters at about 6 p.m. Tuesday and
did not anticipate the fire spreading any further into the hills or
into Burbank, Glendale Fire Capt. Thomas Marchant said.
The fire began at about 11:45 a.m. Monday at the base of a hiking
trail about 3/4 of a mile up a service road in Brand Park, before
mushrooming to 750 acres by 3 p.m. City officials declared a local
state of emergency, and residents were ordered to temporarily
evacuate 33 homes along Thurber Street in Glendale and Via Alta in
Officials on Minday urged residents on Via La Paz and Paseo
Redondo to leave their homes as well. All residents were allowed to
return later that night. The American Red Cross set up an evacuation
center Monday in Burbank at McCambridge Park.
Firefighters worked overnight Monday, digging fire lines and
lighting more than 75 acres of backfires.
As flames jumped the fire break on the eastern flank early
Tuesday, edging toward residential Beaudry Terrace in northeast
Glendale, 10 structure protection teams were sent to the area to
watch over the homes.
Burbank city officials activated the Emergency Operations Center
Monday afternoon and were staffing it Tuesday night.
With a record low amount of rainfall last year leaving hillside
vegetation bone-dry, firefighters faced extreme conditions with
fast-moving flames, Glendale Fire Chief Chris Gray said.
Officials thought it inevitable that the fire would spread into
Burbank, but ground crews working around the perimeter, combined with
air support, had the fire 70% contained by 6 p.m. Tuesday.
"We're still at 1,100 acres burned," Marchant said. "However, we
really have no hot spots at this point."
"The humidity isn't as low as we thought it would be, and that
really helped," he added. "They've managed to deal with that steep
terrain and drop water on these hot spots."
Marchant estimated about $1.5 million has been poured into
fighting the fire.
As firefighters geared up for the second night on the lines,
safety was a primary concern.
"It's very slippery up in these hills now, with all the water
being used," Marchant said. "We're going to slowly attempt to reach
the remaining 30%."
Officials had no estimate as to when the fire would be fully
Firefighters were scattered around the grounds of Brand Park on
Tuesday, trying to catch some sleep in the sparse shade the trees
provided. The ones who were lucky enough to get some sleep the night
before roughed it in sleeping bags against the backdrop of the
bright-hot fire, which was visible from downtown Los Angeles.
Four firefighters and a Glendale Police officer suffered minor
injuries in connection with the fire. The officer, who was directing
traffic on the Glendale-Burbank border on Monday, suffered a shoulder
injury in a hit-and-run accident.
Two firefighters, including one from Glendale, suffered heat
exhaustion, another was bitten by red ants and the fourth was treated
at the scene for lightheadedness.
Arson investigators are still working to determine the cause of
the brush fire. Anyone with information is asked to call the arson
hotline at 548-4805.