LOS ANGELES — A wildfire in the Angeles National Forest has consumed 3,600 acres, driving local residents and thousands of holiday weekend visitors from the popular wilderness area, about 25 miles east of here.
With hot, dry conditions continuing across Southern California, officials said they did not expect to fully contain the blaze for at least another week.
Almost 800 firefighters from across the region were on the ground Tuesday, battling the blaze that began Sunday afternoon. Aided by four air tankers and 10 helicopters, they had managed to contain only 15 percent of the blaze.
Nathan Judy, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service, said efforts to contain the fire had been slowed by the steep, remote terrain where it is burning.
“They are working in a remote area of the forest, with nasty, nasty steep cliffs on either side," Judy said. “When we put the firefighters into that area, we want to make sure they are up there safely, and don’t slide off the side of those hills while they’re putting in the containment line."
Thus far, as the blaze has burned through chaparral and brush that has not seen a fire in over two decades, there have been no major injuries, and no structures threatened, officials said. Five firefighters have suffered minor injuries — most from heat exhaustion — but all of them were treated and back on the fire line Tuesday.
Still, the nearby campgrounds, which on a busy holiday weekend could attract as many as 12,000 people, have all been evacuated.