National

Sep 22, 2009 1:50 PM by Associated Press

LA-area wildfire will take more time to contain

Authorities say they expect it to take longer to contain a month-old wildfire near Los Angeles as crews brace for Santa Ana winds that could fan the smoldering blaze to life.

The 251-square-mile fire in the San Gabriel Mountains is 94 percent contained. Full containment was predicted by Tuesday evening, but the U.S. Forest Service now expects to surround the fire by early Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning Tuesday for extreme fire risk because of low humidity and potential 40-mph wind gusts.

Rough terrain has hampered efforts to ring the fire and crews planned aerial water drops to douse hot spots.

The arson fire has scorched 160,557 acres. It has destroyed 89 homes and is blamed for the deaths of two firefighters.

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