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Southern California brush fires getting under control

August 29, 2011 |  8:56 am

Fire crews were gaining the upper hand on three wildfires that together burned more than 550 acres in inland Southern California over the weekend, authorities said Monday.

A wildfire that burned 345 acres near the Los Angeles-San Bernardino county line was 85% contained Sunday evening, after 555 federal, state and local firefighters were called in to fight the blaze, according to information released by Cal Fire.

The blaze began near Highway 138 south of Pinion Hills, east of Palmdale and west of Victorville on Saturday after violent thunderstorms in the desert areas spawned a series of lightning strikes. The official cause, however, has not been determined.

A second wildfire at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains in the community of Mentone burned 67 acres and was expected to be completely contained by Monday night, fire officials said. More than 300 firefighters battled the fire, which broke out late Sunday morning near Greenspot Road and never threatened any structures.

A third fire burned more than 150 acres in the Cleveland National Forest in San Diego County, just south of Interstate 8 near Pine Valley. Triggered by lightning Sunday afternoon, the blaze was reported to be 35% contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

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-- Phil Willon in Riverside and Catherine Saillant

 

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