As firefighters took on a stubborn three-day-old wildfire Friday in rough terrain north of Los Angeles, a second and more serious fire broke out 30 miles away near Interstate 5, quickly surging to more than 500 acres, briefly threatening an elementary school and leading to the precautionary evacuation of nearly 20 homes, reports the Associated Press.
The new fire burned very close to I-5 during some of the busiest hours of the week for the heavily traveled route in and out of Los Angeles. The freeway has seen wildfire activity in its surrounding hills all week.
But some 350 firefighters were able to get the edge on the blaze as quickly as it arose. The fire was 60 percent contained by nightfall and residents of some 19 homes advised to evacuate were told they could safely return, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said.
Crews were helped by relatively mild temperatures, but challenged by unpredictable winds and very difficult terrain.
With air and ground attacks, firefighters were able to douse the flames closest to Northlake Hills Elementary School and stop a looming threat.
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