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Brush fires keep firefighters busy in Malibu area and Orange County

July 7, 2011 |  2:58 pm

Firefighters battled separate brush fires in Los Angeles and Orange counties Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

A small fire reported shortly before noon near Encinal Canyon Road and Mulholland Highway burned 2 acres before it was extinguished about 1:15 p.m., said Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Matt Levesque. No structures were threatened and the cause of the fire remains under investigation, he said.

In Orange County’s Brea area, a fire that started about 11:15 a.m. has grown to about 25 acres, according to Brea-Fullerton Fire Chief Wolfgang Knabe.

Knabe said Olinda Village, a neighborhood of some 250 structures, was “in the fire’s path” but was not immediately threatened.

“We have them ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice," Knabe said of area residents.

The fire chief said roughly 200 fire personnel, including brush crews, were fighting the blaze with assistance from water-dropping helicopters. Firefighters had intentionally burned 4 acres around the fire in an attempt to “put a line around it,” and prevent it from spreading, Knabe said.

“We’re making good progress, but it keeps flaring up as the wind picks up,” the fire chief said, noting that wind speeds were around 10 miles per hour.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, according to authorities.

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Another day of heat, humidity for Southern California

-- Ann M. Simmons

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