Progress being made on wildfires from Santa Barbara to San Diego

Firefighters made progress Monday against wildfires from Santa Barbara to San Diego as parched Southern California headed into a summer heat wave.

More than 600 firefighters gained on a 482-acre fire in Los Padres National Forest northwest of Santa Barbara. The fire, which started Saturday evening, was 90 percent contained, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Joe Pasinato.

Full containment was expected Tuesday. The cause remained under investigation.

Near the town of Julian, about 60 miles northeast of San Diego, the 170-acre Banner Fire and 60-acre Deer Fire were contained.

The fires’ origins were considered suspicious, said Roxanne Provaznik of the California Department of Forestry.

On Sunday, Los Angeles County firefighters contained a 50-acre blaze that spread from a recreational vehicle fire along Interstate 5 near Pyramid Lake, officials said.

To the north in Kern County, the 12,400-acre White Fire was expected to be fully contained Tuesday. Thirteen residences and 18 outbuildings were destroyed during the fire, which broke out June 24.

During the weekend, Los Angeles ended its driest rain-year on record with just 3.21 inches of precipitation downtown between July 1, 2006, and June 30, 2007. That’s nearly 12 inches less than normal.

Forest Service officials reminded visitors, ahead of the July 4 holiday, that all fireworks are prohibited on national forest land and restrictions on campfires were in effect.

With triple-digit temperatures forecast through much of the week in Southern California valleys and high desert, the Los Angeles County health officer issued a public health alert. People were warned to take precautions against dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

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