L.A. firefighters contain 30 percent of La Tuna wildfire

A firefighting helicopter drops water on the La Tuna Fire in Burbank, Calif., on Sunday. The fire was 30 percent contained by Monday morning. Photo by Mike Nelson/EPA

Sept. 4 (UPI) — Firefighting crews made strong progress Monday against the La Tuna Fire, described by the Los Angles’ mayor as the largest in the city’s history by acreage.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said 1,061 firefighters have succeeded in containing 30 percent of the 7,003-acre fire.

At a media briefing late Monday morning, officials predicted the fire will be extinguished by the end of the week.

Los Angeles Fire Department Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said they are “glad to report we are making progress.”

“We have 70 percent of the line not contained,” Terrazas told reporters. “That is what the hand crews will be doing, they’ll be working on that 70 percent.”

It’s undetermined how the fire started Friday. It destroyed four homes and three outbuildings, according to unified command, which included Los Angeles, L.A. County, Burbank and Glendale fire departments, along with the Los Angeles Police Department.

“There’s really no active fire left. That can change, though, with the wind,” Terrazas said.

Six people sustained non-life-threatening injuries battling the blaze, including one firefighter who received minor burns.

Initially, 1,400 residents were evacuated from 700 homes in Burbank, Glendale and the Sunland-Tujunga area of Los Angeles, according to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. All mandatory and volunteer evacuation orders were lifted by 6:45 p.m. Sunday.

A stretch of the 210 Freeway also reopened Sunday night.

Earlier Sunday, California Gov. Brown declared a state of emergency for L.A. County, paving the way for the deployment of more personnel and equipment at the discretion of the California Office of Emergency Services.

Firefighters were dealing with triple-digit heat and sudden downpours but the area has become cooler and drier. Temperatures maxed out at 86 degrees with winds of 3 to 10 mph, the LAFD reported.

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