Firefighters battle flames, terrain, north of Los Angeles

Firefighters battle the Grand Fire in Kern County.
Firefighters battle the Grand Fire in Kern County.
NBC Los Angeles

Update 3:46 p.m.: Containment grows along with concern

Cal Fire says it continues to make gains on the Grand Fire burning in Los Padres National Forest. Crews now have about 35 percent of the fire contained, but the fire has grown to 4,100 acres. 

Earlier today, the L.A. Times put the cost of fighting the fire at $1.3 million. 

Update 7:13 a.m.: Cooler weather helps crews gain on Grand Fire 

Firefighters had to battle terrain as much as flames as they worked to surround a wildfire entering its third day in harsh hills and mountains north of Los Angeles.

Temperatures dipped Thursday and were expected to remain cool on Friday, but winds upwards of 20 mph continued to swirl, and much of the blaze that has blackened some 3,800 acres was in rocky, rugged, difficult-to-reach places, making containment a challenge.

After a heavy aerial effort Thursday, the fire was 25 percent contained by nightfall.

The fire broke out near Interstate 5 when temperatures were in the 80s, and though they've dropped to the 60s, winds were still a problem.

"It's definitely gusty, but we're lucky, the winds are blowing away from homes," Kern County Fire Department spokesman Corey Wilford said. "It would be better if we didn't have winds at all though."

Lower temperatures are expected to persist into the weekend.

The fire has spread to three counties, Los Angeles, Kern and Ventura, but burned in mostly populated areas and threatened no homes or buildings.

A Kern County high school was closed as a precaution.

The fire started early Wednesday afternoon for reasons that remain under investigation. It initially burned thick brush, seasonal grasses and sage, but then moved into the trees.

The cooler weather helped firefighters overnight clear brush and create breaks in hopes of slowing the blaze. Efforts on Thursday were focused on the southern edge of the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.