1,000 acres burned, 10 percent contained in CA brush fire

1,000 acres burned, 10 percent contained in CA brush fire
MGN
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Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 11:23am

Rancho Cucamonga, CA (KTLA) -- A wind-driven brush fire in Rancho Cucamonga burned over 1,000 acres and was 10 percent contained as of Thursday morning, according to officials.

Dubbed the Etiwanda fire, residents called it in Wednesday and the fire quickly grew because of warm weather, low humidity and high winds, which were all expected to continue Thursday.

The fire began in a "very remote" canyon area north of the city, Rancho Cucamonga Fire District Chief Mike Bell said at the time.

Although one home was damaged, most of the overnight burn was within contained areas, Incident Command Team spokesman Carlos Guerrero said.

"We anticipate a good day, hopefully nothing will happen but we're prepared to manage it if it does occur," Rancho Cucamonga Fire District Chief Mike Bell said Thursday.

The biggest concern was that winds would cause the fire to push west near Deer Canyon, Guerrero said.

Two air tankers and several helicopters were on standby Thursday, but could not fly unless winds dipped below 30 mph.

Winds were expected to be between 30 and 50 mph, with occasional 60 mph gusts, Guerrero said.

Mandatory evacuations for nearly 1,700 homes were lifted Wednesday night and none were in place Thursday.

"The message is ready, set, go," Bell said. "Be ready just incase something changes… be prepared incase you're asked to leave, and to cooperate if those orders are given"

Nearly a dozen schools remained closed Thursday, including Alta Loma High School, Banyon Elementary, Caryn Elementary, Etiwanda High School, Golden Elementary, Day Creek Intermediate, Los Osos High School, rancho Cucamonga High School, and Chaffey College.

Early red flag warnings from the National Weather Service prompted Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service to preposition firefighters in Southern California, John Miller, with the forest service, said.

"As we all know its been an extremely dry year," he added.

Two firefighters sustained minor eye injuries, Bell said.

CAL FIRE, the U.S. Forest Service and Rancho Cucamonga Fire all worked to fight the blaze.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, Bell said. 

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