3,500 Acres Burned in Southern California's San Gabriel Mountains Wildfires

WRIGHTWOOD, Calif., Oct. 4 (UPI) — Wildfires burned 3,500 acres, destroyed three homes and threatened hundreds more in Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains Sunday, authorities said.

Remote canyon areas near Wrightwood, Calif., in the Angeles National Forest were evacuated as erratic, gusty winds pushed the fire about 70 miles northeast of Los Angeles in different directions, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Meanwhile, the Sheep fire burning in between Lytle Creek Canyon and California Highway 138 also produced a mandatory evacuation in areas in and around Heath Canyon, the newspaper said.

Officials said more than 500 firefighters from the National Forest Service and San Bernardino, Calif., were waging an uphill battle to contain the wildfire, which by Sunday morning was only 10 percent contained.

Accuweather.com reported that strong winds would blow through the Southwestern United States Sunday, but also indicated that some drizzle could fall around Los Angeles, hopefully helping with fires burning in the region.

In Arizona, residents of 64 homes in the town of Williams were evacuated when winds shifted and turned a controlled burn into a wildfire in Kabib National Forest, authorities said.

Buildings in Williams, known as “The Gateway to the Grand Canyon,” were threatened by flames fanned by strong winds, The Arizona Republic reported.

Nearly 1,000 acres outside the controlled burn areas had been scorched as of late Saturday, authorities said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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