Sunday, April 21 2013, 05:01 PM CDT
Fire officials evacuate homes
MONROVIA, Calif. (AP) - Residents of about 200 homes in Monrovia have been forced to evacuate after a brush fire erupted in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills east of Los Angeles.
City officials say the blaze was sparked by equipment used by a gardener working the backyard. Flames spread to the hillside behind the residence, scorching 170 acres. The fire is 10 percent contained. It is not immediately threatening homes, but authorities ordered the evacuations as a precaution. As the Monrovia fire burned, a four-acre grass fire ignited across town near Interstate 405, forcing the closure of southbound lanes for about an hour and causing traffic to back up for miles. That fire has been contained. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Residents of about 100 homes were forced to evacuate Saturday after a brush fire erupted in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills east of Los Angeles, authorities said. The fire was sparked by a gardener working the backyard, said Jennifer McLain, a city spokeswoman. Flames spread to the hillside behind the residence, scorching 150 acres. The fire was not immediately threatening homes, but authorities ordered evacuations as a precaution, fire Chief Chris Donovan said.
The blaze was 10 percent contained. Donovan said dry, thick brush and the hilly terrain were making the fire difficult to contain. Helicopters dropped water and firefighters called in two fixed-wing aircraft. "We got a lot of fire resources protecting homes, but we're nowhere near out of the woods," Donovan said. "We have a lot of work ahead of us." As the Monrovia fire burned, a four-acre brush fire ignited across town near Interstate 405, forcing the closure of southbound lanes for at least an hour.