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Firefighters get upper hand on Yucaipa blaze; containment expected

September 24, 2009 |  1:02 pm

Firefighters expect to increase containment of a wildfire that has burned about 347 acres in the Crafton Hills area between Yucaipa and Mentone, fire officials said today.

Authorities have blamed the fire on arson and have arrested a 16-year-old in connection with the blaze.

The fire is now 60% contained, and, without Santa Ana winds stirring hot spots, fire officials say they expect that percentage to rise through the day.

"It’s nice and calm, actually,” said Cal Fire spokesman Bill Peters. “The red flag alert is expect to go away tonight. We’ll be in good shape.”

The fire has not threatened any homes. About 500 firefighters are battling the blaze.

San Bernardino sheriff’s deputies arrested the teenager at about 4:39 p.m. Wednesday after being alerted by witnesses who said they'd seen the youth riding a bicycle away from the fire on Chapman Heights Road. After interviewing the teen, officers arrested him on suspicion of arson.

-- Ruben Vives and David Kelly