SoCal wildfire 95 percent contained

AP News
Posted: Nov 17, 2009 11:07 PM

Cold weather and calm winds are helping firefighters in their battle against a wildfire in Southern California.

Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Greg McKeown says the fire was 95 percent contained Tuesday night. Officials expect to have it surrounded by Wednesday afternoon.

McKeown says helicopters flew the perimeter to map the blaze and determined that it had consumed 145 acres, down from earlier estimates of 250 acres.

The fire is smoldering in a bowl-shaped valley full of dense brush about a dozen miles northeast of San Juan Capistrano. No homes are nearby.

About 200 firefighters are on the scene. Three injuries were reported.

McKeown says crews took advantage of ocean winds and higher humidities that slowed the spread of the fire.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. (AP) _ A 245-acre wildfire in coastal mountains of Southern California was 75 percent contained Tuesday, Orange County authorities said. No homes were threatened.

The blaze, ignited when a tractor knocked over a power pole on Monday, was expected to be fully surrounded by evening, county Fire Authority Capt. Greg McKeown said.

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More than 290 firefighters and one helicopter were working the fire, focusing on mop-up after significant overnight progress, McKeown said.

The National Weather Service reported low humidity levels but calm or light winds in the area. Highs were expected to reach the upper 70s after overnight lows in the 30s.

The fire burned east of Ortega Highway and well outside the coastal cities of San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente.

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