Southern California Fire Forces Evacuation of Homes

By  | 

MONROVIA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say nearly 100 homes remain evacuated as firefighters with help from water-dropping helicopters and an air tanker make advances on a stubborn brush fire in foothills east of Los Angeles.

Jennifer McLain, a spokeswoman for the city of Monrovia, says the blaze burning near homes in the San Gabriel Mountains is 55 percent contained Sunday.

McLain says the fire was sparked Saturday by equipment used by a gardener working a backyard. Flames spread to the hillside behind the residence, scorching about 125 acres and sending a huge smoke cloud that could be seen across the San Gabriel Valley.

Fire Chief Chris Donovan says dry, thick brush on steep terrain make the fire difficult to contain.

More than 200 firefighters are battling the blaze.

One firefighter suffered a heat-related injury.