GLENDORA (CNS) – With cooler temperatures, humidity and even rain aiding the fight against the Williams Fire in the Angeles National Forest, sheriff’s deputies today were to begin escorting residents of some evacuated areas back to their homes today.
Firefighters were working to construct and improve containment lines around the blaze, which has burned 4,180 acres and was 48 percent contained as of Wednesday night, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Improved weather conditions helped firefighters make major advances Wednesday in their efforts to surround the fire, which broke out in San Gabriel Canyon around 2:15 p.m. Sunday and has been burning north and east in steep terrain, fueled by medium to heavy brush that has been untouched by fire for 15 to 20 years, officials said. Full containment was not expected until Sept. 13.
There were 1,132 firefighters battling the fire late Wednesday and a total of 37 hand crews, 10 helicopters, 44 engines, eight bulldozers and 11 water tenders were deployed, officials said.
The fire was contained around Camp Williams, on the fire’s southern portion.
Sheriff’s officials said deputies will begin escorting evacuated residents of River Community and Camp Williams back to their homes starting around 9 a.m. The mountain communities are located in the East Fork area of the San Gabriel Mountains, north of Azusa and Glendora.
Residents will have to show proper identification to get 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 who did not have time to retrieve their belongings will be escorted by deputies from the sheriff’s San Dimas Station into the camping area to collect their belongings at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The fire began in the Camp Williams trailer park off San Gabriel Canyon Road, also known as state Route 39. The cause remains under investigation.
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