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70 Pomona homes threatened in fire

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image kabc"><span>KABC</span></div><span class="caption-text">A brush fire burning in Pomona, California, May 16, 2008. (Air 7 HD)</span></div>
May 16, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Under sizzling temperatures, Southern California firefighters battled two fast-moving brushfires on Friday. They got quick control of a five acre blaze in Corona, but the flames proved far more treacherous in the Pomona area, where as many as 70 homes were threatened.Firefighters are estimating between 30-45 acres burned on the Pomona hillside. Firefighters not only had to battle the flames the hilly terrain, but by early afternoon the temperature was approaching 100 degrees.

Heat was a major factor why there were 170 firefighters on the scene.

"It's definitely hot, low humidity. We all know that the vegetation is extremely dry out there. One of the things we were focusing on was working, getting enough personnel here so we don't have firefighter exhaustion, or heat exhaustion, and firefighters going down because of the heat," said Capt. Michael Brown of the L.A. County Fire Department.

The 25-acre fire broke out shortly before 11 a.m. in rolling hill country. Several blocks of homes were next to the creeping flames.

Fire crews have been sent to protect the houses and set up firelines around the flames that are sending up white smoke above acres of yellow brush that provides quick-burning fuel.

"All that was green maybe two or three weeks ago, but now that is dry," Los Angeles County fire Inspector Sam Padilla said.

Winds were light and the fire was moving slowly westward, Padilla said.

"It's not running. It's creeping," he said.

The CDF also handled a 5 acre fire in Corona at I-15 and Cajalco Road. No homes were threatened.

The Corona blaze was reported only two minutes after the Pomona fire started, 17 miles away. The Pomona fire was near a highway and the Corona fire just off a freeway, officials said, but there was no immediate word on what caused them or whether they were related.

In neighboring San Bernardino County, crews continued to battle a 420-acre wildfire that erupted Tuesday on the flanks of Mount Baldy in the Angeles National Forest.

It was 60 percent contained and no injuries or building damage were reported although six vacation homes in a canyon remained evacuated as the fire crept through rocky, steep terrain.

The fires came on the leading edge of an expected heat wave that could see near-record highs over the weekend. The National Weather Service predicted some interior valleys could top 100 degrees as a high-pressure system moved into the region.

Have pictures or digital videos of the fires burning? Send them to video@myabc7.com. The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.


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