Cali Wildfire Grows, Thousands Evacuate

Campers flee as fire expands by 500 acres
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 3, 2012 12:56 PM CDT
A plume of smoke rises from the San Gabriel Canyon area of the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles on Sunday, Sept, 2, 2012. A wildfire that broke out in the...   (John Antczak)
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(Newser) – A wildfire in the Angeles National Forest that forced the evacuation of thousands of visitors has grown another 500 acres and additional firefighting resources have been requested. The fire, which broke out near a campground yesterday, grew overnight to about 4,100 acres, or roughly 6 square miles, said US Forest Service spokeswoman Angie Lavell. With containment remaining at 5%, officials set up an incident management team early this morning to map out a long-term strategy to battle the blaze, Lavell said.

The flames continue to burn deeper into a wilderness area away from any structures, she said. Campgrounds that typically attract up to 12,000 visitors on the holiday weekend, as well as rehabilitation centers and the private community of Camp Williams Resort, were evacuated yesterday. About 300 firefighters were aided by four water-dropping helicopters and nine air tankers. Fire officials also activated the use of a DC-10 capable of dropping thousands of gallons of retardant. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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