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Firefighters expect full containment of Station fire by Thursday night

September 23, 2009 | 10:51 am

As another day of hot temperatures, low humidity and gusty Santa Ana winds began, U.S. Forest Service firefighters said they still planned to have the Station fire in the San Gabriel Mountains fully contained by Thursday night.

A red-flag warning of high fire danger issued late Monday by the National Weather Service for most of the foothills and mountains of Los Angeles County will remain in effect through Thursday.

"It will still be quite warm and quite dry today," said meteorologist David Sweet, of the weather agency.

Northeast winds are expected to blow at 15 to 25 mph with gusts of 35 mph, he said. Temperatures will be in the 90s in the lower elevations and 80s in the higher peaks of the Angeles National Forest area.

"We're being vigilant," said Carol Underhill, of the U.S. Forest Service.

Aircraft today will make water and retardant drops to hold break lines near Mt. Wilson and to stamp down flare-ups, while hand crews mop up hot spots, Underhill said.

"We did see a 20-acre spot fire in the Twin Peaks area of the San Gabriel Wilderness area" on Tuesday, Underhill said.

But firefighters and aircraft were able to attack it aggressively and douse it.

"With these winds, these things will continue to pop up," Underhill said.

The Station fire, which began Aug. 26, has destroyed about 160,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Wilderness. The fire also was responsible for the deaths of two firefighters. At least eight other firefighters were injured, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.

-- Ruben Vives