Some 200 firefighters from multiple agencies were battling a fast-moving brush fire that has scorched hundreds of acres near Highway 39 in the Angeles National Forest on Sunday, authorities said.
The Tecolote Fire broke out shortly before 2:30 p.m. in the North Fork of San Gabriel Canyon amid dry conditions. So far, it has burned approximately 400 acres.
As of 8 p.m., the fire was 5 percent contained.
The brush fire was burning several miles north of Glendora and Azusa, but there was no threat to either city, both police departments tweeted.
Hundreds of campers from the Coldbrook Campground and West Fork Trail Camp were evacuated.
“Oh, flames were pretty high, it was right across the street… by the electrical lines. We thought maybe the electrical power lines may be started,” said Mike Chacon, who was among those that there evacuated.
Highway 39 was initially shut down in both directions at the base of the mountain so emergency vehicles could get through, the California Highway Patrol’s incident log stated.
Shortly before 7:30 p.m., however, the Forest Service announced the highway was closed north of East Fork Road and residents south of the closure were allowed to go back to their homes.
Another wildfire that burned deep in the Angeles National Forest on Thursday also prompted the temporary closure of Highway 39.
The Tecolote Fire was located in a different fork of the San Gabriel Canyon than the Shoemaker Fire, according to the Forest Service.
Eight engines, a helicopter and hotshot crews were initially called in to extinguish the new blaze.
Steep terrain was presenting some challenges for firefighters on the ground, according to Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy.
“It’s very steep, and that’s some of the issues that our firefighters are having, is rugged terrain—them getting up there, and getting up there safely,” Judy said.
One firefighter suffered a heat-related injury, Judy said. No other injuries were reported.
Fire crews would be out all night as they worked to contain the flames.
“With folks working on the ground overnight tonight, we’re hoping that the containment will get pretty tight here,” Judy said.
Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service and L.A. County Fire were all assisting in the firefight.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
A separate blaze broke out near the Tecolote Fire around 6:20 p.m., according to Lt. Steve Hunt with the Azusa Police Department. That fire was quickly put out and two people were detained and being investigated in connection with it.
They were cooperating with investigators and have not been arrested, Hunt added.