The Washington Post

Progress made on fire that closed freeway


Firefighte­rs were making progress on a wildfire that jumped a Southern California freeway while a new blaze forced residents of a northern community to evacuate.

Pushed by 10 to 15 mph winds, the fire that broke out Saturday near Castaic in northern Los Angeles County chewed through tinder-dry brush and jumped across the busy freeway.

The California Highway Patrol closed a stretch of the interstate for several hours as air tankers dropped retardant. A large flareup sent heavy smoke drifting toward freeway lanes Sunday afternoon, the CHP said.

Two firefighte­rs were taken to the hospital to treat burn injuries, said Andrew Mitchell, a spokesman for the Angeles National Forest.

The fire remained uncontaine­d due to the terrain, but firefighte­rs made progress with the help of water-dropping aircraft and an aggressive ground attack, Mitchell said. He said crews will take advantage of the beginning of a cooling trend to build containmen­t lines.

Meanwhile, a fire that erupted Sunday prompted Mendocino County authoritie­s to evacuate parts of Calpella, a community on the Russian River about six miles north of Ukiah. Video footage posted on Twitter shows the fire pushing in the direction of Lake Mendocino. 4 injured in Ga. explosion: An explosion rocked an apartment building in suburban Atlanta on Sunday, causing the three-story structure to partially collapse and leaving four people with minor injuries, authoritie­s said. The cause of the explosion was unknown, but a utility received a call from a resident about a strong gas odor shortly before the blast, said Dekalb County Fire and Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Melvin Carter. He said that most of the building had been searched and that officials were shoring up the rest so rescuers could continue to look for anyone who might be trapped.

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