October 15, 2008

Power Lines May Have Sparked Calif. Fire

California fire officials Wednesday speculated downed power lines may have triggered one of two wildfires that have scorched 18,000 acres near Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Michael Freeman cautioned, however, no official cause has been named for the Sesnon fire in Porter Ranch, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Calm winds Wednesday kept the blaze and a second brushfire in the San Fernando Valley from burning their way to the sea. The wildfires have left two people dead and 49 structures destroyed. Fire crews estimated the Sesnon fire, which has burned 13,200 acres, would be contained by Saturday.

The other fire, the Marek fire, started in the foothills of the Angeles National Forest. A forest spokeswoman said it had been 80 percent contained and could be out by Thursday.

In San Diego County, officials said the Juliet fire at Camp Pendleton spread to 3,600 acres and was 60 percent contained. East of San Diego, the 200-acre Shockey fire that erupted early Tuesday was about 70 percent contained by evening. A fire in the Little Mountain area of San Bernardino County was contained at 100 acres.