Firefighting efforts benefitting from the arrival of crews from Northern California and the departure of winds from the east made significant progress late this afternoon against the flames threatening the Diamond Bar area.
Calmer winds allowed crews to take offensive actions such as setting backfires and having bulldozers and hand crews construct fire lines.
A briefing was expected around 7:30 or 8 tonight to update the media on the status of the Triangle Complex Fire, which has burned 104 residences in Corona, Yorba Linda, Chino Hills and Brea. The cause of the fire has not been determined.
All of the evacuations for the Diamond Bar area - about 1,800 people total -- are in effect, but the fire's march toward that area has been slowed. The evacuations will be re-evaluated Monday morning. Homes have been evacuated in The Country, Falcon Ridges, Chirping Sparrow, Hawk Wood, Fairwind, Running Branch and Highbluff neighborhoods.
A major attack from helicopters, airplanes and the DC-10 air tanker helped slow the threat to Diamond Bar, Los Angeles County Fire spokesman James Barnes said.
Crews built fire lines at the top of Tonner Canyon and were aided by less-severe winds, although strong gusts remained this afternoon through Tonner and Telegraph canyons.
The main goal for firefighters in the afternoon was to keep the blaze from crossing Highway 57 and keep it from spreading into Roland Heights.
Winds are expected to remain calm, but the weather will still be warm tonight and Monday, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.
Temperatures will remain in the 90s, and winds in most areas will continue to come out of the east but remain at slower than 15 or 20 mph, meteorologist Steve Vanderburg said by phone.
The National Weather Service extended a red-flag warning in Los Angeles County through 10 p.m. this evening. The warning was lifted in Orange County and western Riverside and San Bernardino counties at 4 p.m., Vanderburg said.
Temperatures are expected to decline slowly Tuesday and Wednesday, with humidity possibly increasing after Wednesday, Vanderburg said.
As a result of the success against the fire, all evacuations in Yorba Linda, Anaheim and Corona have been lifted. Highways 241, 261 and 57 have reopened, and the Highway 91 ramps at Weir Canyon Road are also open.
Some 4,500 homes were evacuated in Anaheim affecting 12,600 people, and 8,000-10,000 people were evacuated in Yorba Linda.
According to the Orange County Fire Authority, 1,260 state, county and city fire crews and officials are on the scene, and 10,475 acres have burned. Sixty homes or apartment units burned down in Anaheim, 70 residences in Yorba Linda were destroyed and 16 in Corona were lost. One building in Brea burned.
Corona city officials announce late Sunday that they will meet Monday morning with the 17 residents of the Dean Homes community whose homes were damaged.
At 8 a.m., a meeting will be held at the Dean Homes Community Club House at 11350 Crestridge Dr.
Representatives from the Corona police, fire, and building departments as well as Red Cross personnel will be there to answer questions.
Residents whose homes have been damaged or destroyed and need assistance can call the American Red Cross at 1-800-Red-Cross (733-2767).
Earlier today, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger met with fire officials from Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties to be briefed on the fire.
Schwarzenegger said the state has all the resources available and needed to attack the blaze.
"We know the winds will come every year and we've repositioned resources to Southern California that amounts to $1.9 million a day. We've prepared ourselves. We've assured ourselves of everything we need," Schwarzenegger said.
"I know cities are suffering right now, especially financially. I want to tell them not to worry about financial issues. You always have reserves, and generosity from the federal government to protect life and property."
Published: Monday, November 17, 2008