Southern California Wildfire At 1,000-Plus Acres, 10% Contained

LOS ANGELES (Los Angeles Times/MCT) -
Smoke from the Etiwanda Fire looms behind firefighters staging on Wilson Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (AP Photo/San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Leo Jarzomb)
Smoke from the Etiwanda Fire looms behind firefighters staging on Wilson Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (AP Photo/San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Leo Jarzomb)

The Etiwanda fire raging north of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was just 10 percent contained Thursday after having burned more than 1,000 acres, officials said.

The blaze was first reported shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday and quickly exploded in size amid powerful Santa Ana winds, extremely dry air and unseasonably high temperatures. Wind gusts above 80 mph also grounded water-dropping helicopters and fixed-wing tankers, complicating the task of fighting the fire as it zigzagged along the parched brush- and chaparral-covered hillsides.

Officials are relying on bulldozers and hand crews to shore up the blaze’s western front before it reaches the ridges between Day and Deer canyons, officials said.

No injuries or major damage had been reported as a result of the blaze so far. Fire officials on Thursday said one house sustained minor damage, but did not elaborate. More than 1,600 homes on Wednesday were under mandatory evacuation orders, but those were downgraded to voluntary by the afternoon.

The National Weather Service extended its red flag fire warnings and predicted that temperatures could near 100 degrees in downtown Los Angeles and other areas as high pressure continues to grip the region.