Brush fire breaks out in San Bernardino foothills; 50 percent contained

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- A vegetation fire, dubbed the Sterling Fire, broke out near Sterling Drive in the Del Rosa community in the San Bernardino foothills Thursday night.

The fire, which spread north, has burned 100 acres and was 50 percent contained by Friday morning, fire officials said. It started around 6:30 p.m. Helicopters were at the scene dropping gallons of water to help put out the blaze. The dry, steep terrain has been a challenge for the 120 firefighters at the scene.

A drone spotted in the area temporarily halted relief efforts earlier Thursday afternoon. A person thought to be the pilot of the drone was detained, but later released as it was a mistake.

Fire officials warn people to keep drones away from fires because it could cause serious problems in the firefight.

"Anytime we have a drone in the area of the fire, it halts all air operations," said Chris Gaulding with the San Bernardino National Forest Service.

Large plumes of smoke could be seen by residents in the area and surrounding communities. Residents in the Del Rosa community scrambled to grab possessions, ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. So far, no evacuations have been ordered.

"They said that we're OK for now, but to keep our cars loaded just in case anything happens," one resident said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Full containment is expected by 6 p.m. Friday.

Firefighters walk beside a brush fire and attempt to put out the flames on Thursday, June 25, 2015 in the San Bernardino foothills.


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