Cooler Weather Helps Progress Against La Tuna Fire

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Cooler weather has helped firefighters in the battle against the La Tuna Fire, which has scorched more than 7,000 acres in the hills above Los Angeles, Burbank, and Glendale.

The fire, called the largest in the history of Los Angeles, is now 70 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, Los Angeles City Fire spokesman Capt. Erik Scott said. The fire was just 30 percent contained the day before.

The addition of more hand crews along the fire line, a reduction in firefighters having to defend homes, and cooler weather helped contribute to the progress, he said.

All evacuations were lifted Sunday night in Los Angeles, Glendale, and Burbank, but four soft closures – allowing only residents with photo ID – are in effect for the areas of Sunland-Tuxford, La Tuna-Honolulu, Foothill-Kagel Canyon, and Foothill-Osborne. The Foothill (210) Freeway was also reopened that night, which had been since closed Friday afternoon, just as the holiday getaway was starting.

Five single-family homes have been destroyed, along with five outbuildings, but that’s a remarkably small number, considering nearly 1,400 structures were within 200 feet of flames at the height of the firefight, Scott said.

“We want to commend the vast majority of residences for having proper brush clearance,” he said. “That allows us to get in between the flames and homes, and to protect property and life.”

The number of injuries from the fire were unchanged – eight total, five from the heat, a minor burn, an allergy-related incident and an eye injury.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but officials said arson is not suspected. With gusts of 18 mph expected later, firefighters will remain vigilant in case any hot spots kick up, Scott said.

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