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Cooler weather expected to aid firefighters battling blaze near San Juan Capistrano

November 17, 2009 |  7:12 am

Cooler weather is expected to help firefighters gain control of a wildfire east of Sam Juan Capistrano that burned at least 250 acres.

Firefighters will set backfires this morning and try to mop up the fire off Ortega Highway, which is 75% contained. It's not clear when full containment will occur.

On Monday, about 300 firefighters, aided by four bulldozers, cut fire breaks around the perimeter of the blaze, which has been confined to a bowl-shaped valley area in rugged terrain about five miles east of the 5 Freeway, fire officials said. No structures were threatened.

Me-OCwildfire "We expect it stay fully contained in that bowl," said Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion of the Orange County Fire Authority.

Ground crews were aided by several water-dropping helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft that made repeated drops as the blaze burned through heavy brush.

The fire appears to have been sparked by a power line that was knocked down by a tractor as it drove on private property, authorities said.

Fire units responded to the blaze after a call at 11:28 a.m.

-- Robert J. Lopez

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