LOS ANGELES – Firefighters gained ground against three wildfires burning across Southern California, but worried that hot winds forecast over the next few days will undo their efforts.
A 1,091-acre fire in Burbank was 67 percent contained Sunday after firefighters aided by cooler breezes made significant progress, according to Burbank Fire Chief Tracy Pansini (search). Residents were allowed back into about 70 homes in Sunset Canyon that had been evacuated as a precaution.
Bell said firefighters were still concerned about a forecast for warmer winds that could bring 50 mph gusts and re-ignite what appeared to be a "cold mountain."
Crews were being kept at the scene a little longer than normal and positioned near homes that could be threatened if the winds kicked up.
"A little wind could blow those embers into the green and then we'd be starting from scratch," Bell said Sunday. "Things look excellent today, and we will be very aggressive. But the wind event is our biggest 'what if' right now."
Elsewhere, more than 1,000 emergency personnel were on the lines during the day fighting a fire in steep, rugged terrain in and around San Bernardino National Forest (search), about 70 miles east of Los Angeles.
The 935-acre fire was 72 percent contained Sunday but had the potential to flare up in windy conditions because of dead trees and grass in the area, according to a U.S. Forest Service update.
All mandatory evacuations in the area were lifted by Sunday night. About 1,200 people had been evacuated from several small communities on Friday. Some had been allowed to return on Saturday.
A wildfire that torched more than 24,000 acres on the border of Los Angeles and Ventura counties was 85 percent contained and cooler weather helped firefighters as they tried to extinguish hot spots, said Los Angeles County fire Capt. Mark Savage (search). Full containment was expected by Monday evening.
"Things are looking very good," Savage said. "Firefighters are certainly aware of the expected wind event that should occur in the next couple of days, and we are making the effort to make sure we don't have any hot spots when it arrives."
All evacuation orders and road closures were lifted for the blaze.