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Winds cooperating as crews battle Sheep fire

October 5, 2009 |  8:16 am

Schools in the Snowline School District were closed this morning as firefighters continued their efforts to contain the 7,500-acre Sheep fire in the San Gabriel Mountains.

The blaze that began Saturday forced the evacuation of thousands of residents in the mountaintop community of Wrightwood and continues to threaten some 2,000 homes, said Kristel Johnson of the U.S. Forest Service.

Johnson said firefighters were encouraged today by calmer winds.

“The fire has significantly laid down and that’s due to the decrease in the wind. We’ve got the favorable weather that we hope to have,” she said.

At least three homes have been destroyed in the Swarthout Canyon area and authorities suspect more structures may have been damaged.

Most of the efforts over the weekend concentrated on keeping the fire away from Wrightwood and firefighters at one point engaged in an all-out battle against the blaze on the town’s eastern edge. The fire is 20% contained.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

Photo: An air tanker makes a retardant drop over the Sheep fire in the San Gabriel Mountains near Wrightwood. Credit: Irfan  Khan / Los Angeles Times


Interactive map: San Bernardino County Sheep fire


Photos: Fire in the San Gabriel Mountains