Despite the hot and dry weather conditions hampering firefighters as they battled the Williams Fire in the Angeles National Forest Tuesday, officials said they were moving progressively toward their targeted full containment date of Sept. 13.
Fire officials with the U.S. Forest Service said by Tuesday afternoon, the wildfire that had burned nearly 4,000 acres off the East Fork Road was 25 percent contained.
Officials had originally estimated the fire burning more than 4,000 acres, but downgraded that number to 3,800 by Tuesday afternoon.
Since the wildfire erupted Sunday afternoon, officials estimated fire efforts have cost about $1 million.
Nine aircrafts, including air tankers and water-dropping helicopters, and nearly 800 firefighters focused on protecting structures in the Camp Williams Resort and other recreational buildings, as well as burn areas to the north and west of the fire’s origin, said U.S. Forest Service Deputy Incident Commander Mark Nunez.
Los Angeles County Fire officials believe the fire threat to those structures will be eliminated by Wednesday morning. No structures have been damaged in the fire, said LA County Fire Captain John Tripp.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Nunez said firefighters expected to complete their targeted containment lines by the end of the day Tuesday.
But as temperatures climbed into the mid-90s, Nunez said firefighters struggled with the dry heat and steep, rugged terrain, with five firefighters treated for heat stress and ankle injuries.
But Nunez said winds remained low, preventing unpredictable movement of the raging blaze.
“The weather pattern is supposed to stay stable for the next week,” said Nunez. “The forecaster we have assigned says he doesn’t see changes in the near future.”
Forecasted thunderstorms in Los Angeles County won’t reach the burn area, said Nunez, but may lower temperatures and increase humidity to improve weather conditions.
While evacuation orders have yet to be lifted, officials say they are working to allow the estimated 1,500 to 2,000 evacuees – mostly recreational visitors – an opportunity to retrieve their items.