Crews spend third day fighting California wildfire

Other News Materials 29 April 2008 07:41 (UTC +04:00)

(Reuters) - Firefighters spent a third day on Monday attacking a stubborn California wildfire that forced about 1,000 people to evacuate their homes and charred some 500 acres.

The blaze, which has been burning in the San Gabriel Mountains outside Los Angeles since Saturday, briefly threatened a neighborhood of homes but was turned back by fire crews, who have so far kept it from destroying any structures.

The fire was about 25 percent contained as of Monday afternoon as Southern California baked under record temperatures. Authorities were still investigating its cause.

On Sunday, some 45 people celebrating a wedding at a mountain campground were airlifted from the area by helicopter after the fire cut off their exit trail. No one was harmed.

If the weather cooperates, the fire should be contained fully in four to seven days, the U.S. Forest Service has said.

Late last year, strong winds, high temperatures and parched brush after a record drought were blamed for spreading a series of blazes from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border that destroyed thousands of buildings and drove hundreds of thousands of Californians from their homes.