Latest Southern California fire contained as larger ones subside

Monday, July 19th 2004, 6:09 am
By: News On 6

HEMET, Calif. (AP) _ Firefighters contained Southern California's latest wildfire Friday and had another nearly surrounded after it chewed through more than 11,000 acres and destroyed several structures.

The latest fire, in Riverside County, erupted Thursday afternoon in brush and grass in the hills near the community of Fairview. Mild wind and open terrain allowed bulldozers to dig fire lines.

The blaze scorched 765 acres, forced temporary road closures and briefly threatened several homes, said Capt. Rick Vogt of the California Department of Forestry.

One firefighter was treated at a hospital for moderate facial burns, and two others suffered heat exhaustion.

Meanwhile, firefighters were being released from the battle about 50 miles to the west at the edge of the Mojave Desert in northern Los Angeles County. That 11,966-acre blaze destroyed two homes and a historic wood bridge. It was 90 percent contained.

About 900 firefighters were still on the lines Friday morning, down from 2,400 the night before. Eight people suffered minor injuries.

Firefighters contained several other fires in northern Los Angeles County and northern San Diego county earlier in the week.

Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Mike McCormick said Thursday that the early series of blazes indicates ``we've got a long summer ahead of us.''

``These are the conditions: hot, dry, low humidity and windy,'' he said. ``So we'll just try to get some rest then go out and do it again.''

In Alaska, six firefighters were hurt Thursday when a tracked vehicle rolled as it transported a crew to a more than 485,600-acre fire north of Fairbanks. One of the injured was hospitalized; the others were released.