WRIGHTWOOD, Calif. – Thousands of people ordered to flee their homes because of a 7,000-acre wildfire near a Southern California mountain town were allowed to return Tuesday as cool, calm weather aided fire crews, authorities said.
Evacuation orders for 2,000 homes and 4,000 to 6,000 people in and around Wrightwood northeast of Los Angeles were lifted at noon, although the order remained for a canyon where the fire burned one home over the weekend.
Only a few homes were in that area.
Firebreaks constructed below Wrightwood were holding and the fire did not appear to be spreading, U.S. Forest Service fire information officer Norma Bailey said.
"They have had a few flareups within the perimeter of the fire," she said.
The blaze in the San Gabriel Mountains was 32 percent contained after burning more than 11 square miles of brush and timber. The fire destroyed a home, two camp buildings and two outbuildings, said Carol Underhill, another Forest Service spokeswoman.
The fire was only creeping and smoldering, Underhill said.
Most of the 19 miles of fireline left to build were on ridges near steep canyons, she said.
Winds gusting to 50 mph pushed the flames over the weekend but on Tuesday they were only at 5 to 10 mph with a few gusts to 15 mph, Underhill said.
"The weather's definitely cooperating," she said.
Highs were expected to be in the 60s to low 70s through the week and humidity could reach 40 percent, said Stan Wasowski, a National Weather Service forecaster in San Diego.
A low-pressure area over the region is keeping things cool, he said.
Nearly 2,000 firefighters and 20 aircraft were at work, concentrating on the northern and southern edges of the fire. Three firefighters were treated for minor injuries, Underhill said.