California Wildfire Grows, Forces Home Evacuations On Labor Day

Angeles National Forest officials began evacuating nearby residents on Monday as the parks fire grew by an additional 500 acres. Additional firefighters and equipment have been requested as local officials continue to defend the area against an increasingly vicious fire.

The fire broke out near a camping area on Sunday afternoon and has already engulfed 6 square miles, the equivalent of 4,100 acres.

Firefighters have contained five percent of the burn area and are in the process of mapping out a long-term strategy for fighting the blaze.

Campgrounds were evacuated on Sunday, removing nearly 12,000 visitors who typically travel to the park over the holiday weekend. The campers were not in the way of harm, but the road was needed to transport fire firing equipment to and from the site of the wildfire.

Already battling the wildfire are nearly 300 firefighters, four water-dropping helicopters, and nine air tankers. The fire grew large enough by Monday for officials to authorize the use of a DC-10, which drops thousands of gallons of fire retardant on the wildfire.

Officials are still attempting to determine the cause of the wildfire and expect to have it fully contained by September 10.

Los Angeles County is no stranger to massive wildfires; in 2009, two firefighters were killed and 89 homes were destroyed as the largest fire in the areas history destroyed 250 square miles of forest.

The park where the fire started is a popular destination over the holidays because of its close proximity to city areas.

In the meantime 1,600 firefighters have contained 58 percent of the wildfire in Mendocino County. That fire has claimed 65 square miles.