One person has been detained in connection to a fast-moving brush fire that grew to 200 acres in the Montebello area Sunday and prompted evacuations and road closures, officials said.
The blaze, dubbed the Lincoln Fire, first broke out around 1:15 p.m. in a Montebello riverbed near the Whittier Narrows Reservoir.
It grew to about 200 acres and in a northeasterly direction before being 20 percent contained as of 8 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which assisted the Montebello Fire Department in the firefight.
One firefighter was transported to a hospital for heat exhaustion, Montebello police tweeted. Details on his/her condition was not provided.
Evacuations were in place near Legg Lake and at shooting range areas near unincorporated Whittier Narrows and South San Gabriel, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department tweeted around 5:05 p.m.
Twelve homeless people were also evacuated from the Whittier Narrows Recreational Area, the department tweeted.
The fire prompted multiple road closures, including Lincoln Boulevard between Read Drive and San Gabriel Boulevard, the Montebello Police Department said in a statement. Drivers were advised to use Montebello Boulevard as an alternate route.
Hours later, the eastbound side of State Route 60 at San Gabriel Boulevard was also closed, the California Highway Patrol tweeted.
The freeway reopened, according to a CHP tweet around 8:30 p.m., but the east and westbound Rosemead Boulevard off-ramps remained closed.
Smoke from the fire spread through the inland valleys Sunday evening, causing motorists on the 210 Freeway – some 7 miles away – to see heavy smoke and smell the blaze.
Arson investigators said two people were taken into custody in connection to the fire, and police later confirmed one person was arrested.
KTLA cameras captured one man being detained, but officials later said he was released.
The urban terrain made fire access difficult, and a nearby oil field and power lines were a cause for concern, firefighters said.
The fire jumped Lincoln Avenue, spread into Montebello Hills and onto a nearby oil field, Montebello Fire Department Deputy Chief Dan Amador told the Los Angeles Times.
“All oil field operations have ceased at this point,” Amador told the Times. “Everything is shut down.”
However, the Police Department later tweeted that oil field operations had not been shut down.
Four water-dropping helicopters supplied by the L.A. County Fire Department and Los Angeles Fire Department aided in the firefight.
One of the choppers suffered a hard landing during the battle, according to L.A. County fire officials.
Two ambulances were initially requested, but L.A. officials later tweeted that everyone on board was OK.
Two super scoopers, or firefighting aircrafts, that arrived from Canada on Saturday also aided firefighters.
The blaze broke out during an excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service.
Firefighters faced a high of 100 degrees Sunday afternoon and south winds of around 10 mph, the weather service stated online. The heat warning was set to expire at 8 p.m.
The Lincoln Fire was one of three in Los Angeles County Sunday, including the Warm Fire in the Castaic Canyons area which burned several structures, and the 1,448-acre Cabin Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest above Glendora.