Officials Say La Tuna Fire Now 80% Contained

SUN VALLEY (CNS) - Crews were getting closer to full containment of the La Tuna Fire today after gaining momentum on the blaze the day before.

Additional hand crews were brought in Tuesday and firefighters were able to achieve 80 percent containment as of Tuesday night.

“We have an army of boots on the ground,'' Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Erik Scott said. The blaze broke out Friday afternoon and forced the full shutdown of the Foothill (210) Freeway for two days.

Cooler temperatures and weekend rain coupled with lighter winds have aided in the firefighting effort, with containment up dramatically from 30 percent on Monday, Scott said.

The fire has scorched nearly 7,200 acres of brush around the Verdugo Mountains since Friday.

All mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders in Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank were lifted as of Sunday night, which is also when the Foothill (210) Freeway was re-opened.

Four “soft closures'' of roadways remain in effect, however, where only residents with identification will be allowed into neighborhoods, Scott said. They are in the following areas: Sunland Boulevard and Tuxford Street; La Tuna Canyon Road and Honolulu Avenue; Foothill Boulevard and Kagel Canyon Street: and Foothill Boulevard and Osborne Street.

The fire, which at one point threatened about 1,400 homes, has destroyed five homes and three outbuildings.

The cause of the blaze, described by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the biggest in the history of the city in terms of acreage, remains under investigation, but officials said arson is not suspected.

Eight injuries were reported, including four firefighters and one civilian with heat-related illness, one firefighter with minor burns, one who suffered an allergic reaction and one civilian who suffered an eye injury. All have been treated and released, officials said.

On Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state emergency in Los Angeles County due to the fire. Los Angeles declared a local emergency Saturday.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a proclamation of local emergency, which will be forwarded to Brown's office to access state and federal assistance.

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