GLENDORA (CNS) – Aided by cooler weather, rain and humidity, firefighters made major advances in their efforts to surround the 4,180-acre Williams Fire in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora today, and residents of some evacuated areas will soon be escorted back to their homes.
The fire, which broke out in San Gabriel Canyon around 2:15 p.m. Sunday, was 48 percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Firefighters were working in steep terrain to contain the flames burning north and east through medium to heavy brush that has been untouched by fire for 15 to 20 years, according to the Forest Service. The blaze was not expected to be fully contained until Sept. 13. As of this afternoon, there were 1,275 firefighters on scene. The fire was contained around Camp Williams, on the fire’s southern portion.
With fire crews making progress battling the blaze, sheriff’s officials announced that they will begin escorting evacuated residents of River Community and Camp Williams back to their homes Thursday morning. The mountain communities are located in the East Fork area of the San Gabriel Mountains, north of Azusa and Glendora.
Beginning at 9 a.m., sheriff’s deputies will begin escorting residents who show proper identification back to their homes.
About 2,000 recreational campers were also evacuated Sunday. Most were able to remove all their camping equipment, but sheriff’s officials said some did not have time to retrieve their belongings.
Those campers will be escorted by San Dimas Station sheriff’s deputies at 9 a.m. Saturday into the camping area to collect their belongings.
Eight air tankers, 10 helicopters, 68 engines, eight dozers, 46 hand crews and 11 water tenders were involved in the firefighting effort.
The fire began in the Camp Williams trailer park off San Gabriel Canyon Road, also known as state Route 39. The cause remained under investigation.
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