SAN BERNARDINO — Crews on Wednesday were close to surrounding two wildfires that torched several hundred acres of Southern California brushland and briefly threatened dozens of homes – but they were keeping an eye on the weather.
A 200-acre fire in the Cajon Pass east of Los Angeles was 80 percent contained, said Carol Underhill, a fire information spokeswoman for the San Bernardino Mountains.
The fire had not grown since it erupted Tuesday in the Sycamore Flats area at the base of the pass near Interstate 15.
About 30 rural homes were evacuated at the height of the blaze but residents were allowed to return late that night.
Massive water drops by aircraft including a DC-10 seemed to take the heat out of the fire, and Underhill said crews expected to fully surround it by Thursday evening despite the possibility of gusty winds that could blow the blaze back to life.
“Everything is looking pretty good here,” Underhill said. “But they are still dealing with a lot of wind in the afternoons so they want to get this thing buttoned up as quickly as they can.”
The National Weather Service warned that 25 to 35 mph winds, with gusts of up to 65 mph in places, could hit the mountains through Thursday morning.
Closer to Los Angeles, a 268-acre blaze near the foothill community of Azusa was 80 percent contained, with full containment expected Friday.
The fire in the San Gabriel Mountains was reduced to hotspots and no homes were threatened, fire spokesman Nathan Judy said.
“We have had no fire activity today. … It’s just a mop-up,” Judy said.
“We didn’t get the erratic winds that make … the fire pick up,” he said, although some gusts to 45 mph were forecast through the night.
Hundreds of firefighters fought the blaze at its peak, aided by Super Scoopers and other aircraft. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries.
The causes of both fires remained under investigation.