Firefighters Battle Heat, Fires on Catalina

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Posted by msblucow on July 23, 2006 at 22:55:57:

From Associated Press
8:07 PM PDT, July 23, 2006

Fire crews struggled in searing heat Sunday to corral wildfires across Santa Catalina Island and other parts of Southern California, where flames have prompted the evacuation of dozens of homes and clogged traffic on a major interstate.

The largest fire charred about 2 square miles of brush on the 76-square-mile island off the coast of Los Angeles, county fire Inspector Scott Ross said. It was 10 percent contained Sunday afternoon.

Hundreds of firefighters and at least 20 fire engines were shuttled late Saturday to the island on boats and military hovercraft from Camp Pendleton because lightning made helicopters too dangerous.

Authorities initially evacuated 10 homes on the island's western edge after the lightning-sparked fire broke out around 8 p.m. Saturday. The order was lifted Sunday, and the homes were no longer threatened, Ross said.

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