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Updated: County Fire Says JPL Brush Fire Accidental

A combination of a cool, wet morning and a trio of choppers aided in the fire's containment, the department adds.

UPDATE at 8:54 a.m.: Inspector Johnson of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said that the fire is being seen as accidental, the result of someone's efforts to clear out brush. There was no further information available on who was clearing the brush.

The lack of high winds and the damp hangover from Sunday morning rain also helped contribute to the relatively quick containment of the fire, added Inspector Don Kumitomi.

"The soil was still kind of wet, and some of the plants still had water," he said. "With three helicopters dropping water on the head of the fire, we were able to stop it when it went up to a ridge, near some water tanks."

Yesterday: A brush fire burning above the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge was contained Monday afternoon. In total, the burn area was 3 acres, according to Inspector Quvondo Johnson of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The call about the fire came in around 12:30 p.m., and firefighters were on scene within 15 minutes, he said. 

Highland Park resident Patricia Moore and her children were among dozens of people watching the department do its work against the fire.

"My kids go to school at Odyssey, just nearby" she said. "I saw the smoke ... I was driving by on the 210 and said, 'Holy ... '"

Angela Odom May 16, 2011 at 09:36 PM
I was a little concerned when I saw the smoke rise over the hills but was glad to see they were on it this time. Good job L.A. County Fire.
Redmond Carolipio May 16, 2011 at 10:02 PM
Awesome shot, Angela. Thanks for that!
True Freedom May 16, 2011 at 11:06 PM
The year before the station fire, I was finishing a bike ride behind JPL and ran into a family pushing a shopping cart full of food and BBQ supplies (including charcoal) just past the gate on Windsor and Ventura... yeah, right past the fire hazard sign which was pegged at "extreme." I told them I'd call the cops.. they acted dumb and left. Don't know what caused this fire, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were some ignorants doing a little cooking down there.
Geoff A. May 16, 2011 at 11:21 PM
TF - from looking at the photos, not much of a cooking spot. On another note, Rode El Prieto this morning. It needs some love but I sure have missed that trail
True Freedom May 16, 2011 at 11:35 PM
Pic number 4 looks to me like it started on the backside of the hill (not visible) and advanced over the hillside towards JPL. That backside descends down to the creek. If I had to guess.. that's where it started. Recently, I also caught a smoker near Eaton Canyon Falls. Old guy wasn't too happy getting called out... but that's just ridiculous. Looking forward to El P again. Maybe I'll hit the Sam Merrill/ Sunset/ El P loop this weekend...
Geoff A. May 17, 2011 at 12:49 AM
4 does look that way but 5 makes it look like the fire never reached down to the creek. A friend just told me that it was a crew clearing brush that started it. Don't know if that's the case. Sam/Sunset/EP - my favorite, I-don't-have-to-be-at-work-on-time, morning rides.
Patrick Lee May 17, 2011 at 12:51 AM
Great fotos!
Petrea Burchard May 17, 2011 at 04:38 AM
Great photos and video, you guys. Angela, I agree, the firefighters knocked this one down fast.
True Freedom May 17, 2011 at 06:24 PM
Looks like you were right! I need to get me a "don't have to be at work on time in the morning" job, so I can loop it mid-week! :)

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