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Castaic brush fire contained; 55 acres burned

Firefighters douse another 10-acre fire sparked by bus fire

Posted: July 18, 2009 2:03 p.m.
Updated: July 18, 2009 4:21 p.m.
UPDATED 4:21 p.m. today:

Fire officials say a 55-acre wildfire in northern Los Angeles County has been fully contained.

County Fire Dispatcher Brendan Peart says the Castaic-area blaze was 100 percent surrounded early Saturday.

No structures burned and no injuries have been reported.

More than 200 firefighters fought the blaze, which erupted Friday afternoon in medium brush.

UPDATED 1:28 a.m. today:
A passenger bus went up in flames Friday on Interstate 5 northwest of Los Angeles but all 10 people aboard got off safely, the company said. The blaze sparked a brushfire.

The bus, operated by Coach America, had pulled onto the shoulder of the interstate, a major connector between Los Angeles and California's Central Valley.

Glass windows broke and several explosions could be heard as the bus burned, and only a skeleton remained after the fire was out.

The vehicle was en route to Bakersfield from the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, said Amtrak spokeswoman Karina Romero in Washington, D.C. Amtrak has bus connections in parts of California not served by rail.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

After the nine passengers and the driver disembarked, the fire spread to nearby brush. Northbound traffic was brought to a halt when firefighters arrived on scene. The fire burned about 10 acres.

In the same region, Los Angeles County firefighters were battling a 55-acre wildfire.

More than 200 firefighters fought the Castaic-area blaze, which erupted at midafternoon in medium brush, said fire Inspector Steve Zermeno.

An aircraft painted a line of pink fire retardant across hilly lands between the fire and a neighborhood of homes. Containment was estimated at 70 percent by nightfall.

Weather was hot but not windy in Southern California, and humid air brought thunderstorms in the mountains and deserts.

The National Weather Service said a strong upper-level high-pressure system centered over the desert Southwest will continue to bring hot temperatures across inland Southern California through early next week. Highs in the valleys were predicted to range between 95 and 105 degrees.


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