Weekend fire in Anaheim Hills fully contained

first_imgANAHEIM – Firefighters on Tuesday declared full containment of a wildfire that forced 1,200 residents to flee Anaheim Hills neighborhoods and damaged a house during the weekend. Investigators examining a torched car that sparked the wildfire early Sunday found that both the vehicle and its license plates were stolen in the city of Riverside last month, officials said. The license plates did not match the 2004 white Honda Civic, which was set ablaze by an arsonist along Highway 241 in Orange County, said John Nicoletti, a city spokesman. “We believe that the suspect or suspects drove the vehicle to that location and may have been picked up by an associate or other associates, which allowed them to leave the scene quickly,” he said. Jennifer Seaton, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Corridor Agencies, said that agency turned over a CD of toll station surveillance video and data to fire investigators on Monday. She said the footage was from the Windy Ridge toll station on Highway 241. “We don’t have any video footage of where the fire actually started, because it was actually a half-mile south” of the station, Seaton said. The blaze spread rapidly Sunday as hot, dry Santa Ana winds blew across parched Southern California. In all, more than 2,000 acres, equal to about three square miles, were scorched. In addition to the damaged house, two outbuildings were destroyed. Two firefighters were treated for minor injuries. A third, who was accidentally cut in the face by an ax, was hospitalized in moderate condition, said Capt. Stephen Miller of the Orange County Fire Authority. A red-flag alert for fire danger had been issued going into the weekend and the forecast of winds, extremely low humidity and heat proved true as Southern California stayed on pace to have the driest winter in decades. The last time it was this dry was in 1923-24 season, when 2.50 inches of rain was recorded through March 22, 1924. Only about 2.4 inches of rain has fallen in downtown Los Angeles since the July 1 start of the rain year, and forecasters said it is unlikely there will be any rain in March. Normal annual rainfall in Los Angeles is 11.43 inches. Santa Ana, Orange County’s seat, received only 1.81 inches of rain between July 1 and March 11 – about one-fifth of normal. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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