Crews Contain Southern California Wildfire, Marin County Blaze

As thunderstorms flashed through the area, crews Thursday contained a wildfire that had forced hundreds temporarily out of their homes.


VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AP) -- As thunderstorms flashed through the area, crews Thursday contained a wildfire that had forced hundreds temporarily out of their homes.

The 1,193-acre Runway fire at the northern edge of San Bernardino National Forest was fully surrounded and the many of the 645 firefighters were being sent home, forest spokeswoman Ruth Wenstrom said.

Firefighters were concerned that thunderstorms in the region would create high winds that would blow flames and embers outside the containment area, but ``fortunately, things held,'' Wenstrom said.

Lightning sparked two small blazes in the San Jacinto area but they were quickly doused, she said. However, the threat of more lightning strikes remained with a forecast for possible new thunderstorms over the next few days.

One home in the Baldy Mesa area sustained heat damage from the fire west of Interstate 15, which was ignited by a car crash Tuesday. No major injuries were reported.

Residents evacuated from the West Cajon Valley and Phelan areas were allowed to return Wednesday and a seven-mile stretch of Highway 138 reopened Thursday morning.

To the west, Los Angeles County has beefed up its fire readiness by deploying 13 additional crews, nine water trucks and two helicopter fuel trucks to several stations. Volunteers were also walking the beat on arson patrols across several of the county's bone-dry valleys.

In northern California, a fire in an unincorporated part of Marin County north of San Francisco was contained Thursday after burning 360 acres, according the Marin County Fire Department.