updated 9/20/2009 5:09:13 PM ET 2009-09-20T21:09:13

Air crews continued to drop water on the massive wildfire still burning in the forest north of Los Angeles Sunday, in anticipation of hot, dry winds moving into the area this week.

The arson-caused fire, which erupted Aug. 26, was 93 percent contained as four helicopters dropped 80,000 gallons of water on smoldering areas in canyons in the steep San Gabriel Mountains, fire officials said.

Crews began dropping retardant Saturday near the slopes of Mount Wilson, which houses telecommunications facilities and a historic observatory.

A warming trend is predicted to bring lower humidity and Santa Ana winds of 15 to 20 mph, and that could make it harder for crews to snuff hot spots.

The fire has destroyed 89 homes, caused two firefighter deaths and scorched nearly 281 square miles.

A second Southern California wildfire that destroyed 12 structures and forced the evacuation of about 30 homes on Saturday was expected to be under control Sunday evening, according to Riverside County Fire Captain Fernando Herrera.

The 340-acre fire was 50 percent contained and should be surrounded by Sunday evening.

The wildfire broke out shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday in the Cleveland National Forest near Temecula. Fire officials stopped its progress late Saturday.

Authorities were conducting mop-up operations Sunday, Herrera said.

No more evacuations were expected. Herrera said residents who were told to leave Saturday still can't return. An evacuation center at a Temecula high school remained open.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments