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Monrovia brush fire: Evacuations lifted

A helicopter drops water on a brush fire in Monrovia on Saturday, April 20, 2013.

April 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
After an out-of-control brush fire caused the evacuation of some 200 homes, residents in Monrovia are returning home.

The fire broke out Saturday at around 11 a.m. near Avocado Place and Crescent Drive. As of 10:30 a.m. Sunday, the blaze had charred 125 acres. It was at 85 percent containment by 4 p.m. Fire officials had earlier reported that the fire had charred 175 acres but later decreased that figure.

In response to the flames, a mandatory evacuation was issued Saturday. It has since been lifted for all residents. There were 200 households asked to leave.

According to authorities, a piece of equipment used by a gardener sparked the flames. The wind and dry conditions helped the fire spread quickly.

"We are expecting, again, higher temperature with lower humidity. The wind is the biggest factor for us, our biggest concern," said Monrovia Fire Chief Christopher Donovan. "Our position is, we're cautiously optimistic. The goal is to get those residents back into their homes as soon as possible."

Fire crews have thrown everything they can at the blaze, including 65 fire engines, two air tankers and five helicopters. Sunday, authorities said approximately 160 firefighters were still battling the flames on the ground.