LOS ANGELES (CNS) – County firefighters have called off their search for three hikers who were reported stranded in the San Gabriel Canyon near the Williams Fire that has so far burned more than 4,000 acres, a county fire department supervisor said.
“We sent out a search and rescue helicopter and searched the area they were reportedly in but we found nothing,” county fire Dispatch Supervisor Art Marrujo said. “So we called off the search at 2:38 p.m. and recalled the helicopter.”
The hikers were reported stranded in the east fork of the San Gabriel Canyon near the Bridge to Nowhere, a popular hiking destination on East Fork Road above Azusa, according to the county fire department.
The Williams fire continues to burn and is now only about 5 percent contained, according to fire officials.
At least six air tankers and eight helicopters were helping ground crews today to hem in the Williams wildfire that has scorched 4,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest north Glendora, and prompted campground evacuations.
The fire began about 2:15 p.m. Sunday near Camp Williams, along East Fork Road off of San Gabriel Canyon (39) Road, L’Tanga Watson of the U.S. Forest Service said.
The blaze — believed to have started in Camp Williams trailer park — grew quickly from an initial four acres to about 4,000 acres by 8 p.m., Watson said.
The fire was surrounded by defensible fire lines by sundown Sunday. Officials said 400 firefighters were battling the brush fire.
“There’s no estimate of full containment,” Robert Brady of the Forest Service said. “The fire is moving to the north-northeast toward the (Sheep Mountain) wilderness area.”
A new fire management team was expected to set up at firefighting headquarters at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale, Brady said.
There were no immediate threats to structures, Brady said. The Camp Williams restaurant, private camps, a Los Angeles County inmate camp and a ranger station could be in harm’s way eventually, and they were evacuated as a precaution.
Firefighters will work to protect cabins five to six miles north of the fire, Brady said.
San Gabriel Canyon Road, one of the main entrances to the forest, was expected to remain closed through today.
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