The La Tuna fire burning in the Verdugo Mountains was 80 percent contained as of Wednesday, and evacuees have largely returned home.
The blaze has scorched more than 7,000 acres since erupting over Labor Day weekend, and it has destroyed homes and damaged the ecology. "It is certainly the largest fire in terms of acreage since the Bel Air fire of 1961 ... but luckily no fatalities and we've kept the damage to structure to a pretty low level," said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Peter Sanders, adding that five homes and some other out buildings burned.
Sanders said the damage was mitigated by good brush clearance by residents. "We believe it contributed to relatively small loss of structures there. I was up in Burbank when the fire was moving pretty strongly through there. The fire would come down the hill, and if your brush was cleared, it would run out of fuel and just stop. It is a really important thing."