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Firefighters Making Progress on Williams Fire

Fire in the Angeles National Forest 78 percent contained.

Firefighters continued to make progress on the Williams Fire that has scorched nearly 4,200 acres in the Angles National Forest since Sunday.

The was 78 percent contained Friday evening, authorities said.

Firefighters were working to eliminate hotspots and to construct and improve containment lines around the Williams Fire, which has burned 4,180 acres since breaking out in San Gabriel Canyon around 2:15 p.m. Sunday. Full containment was not expected until Thursday.

The fire has been burning north and east in steep terrain, fueled by medium to heavy brush that has been untouched by fire for 15-20 years, officials said. About 1,070 firefighters were deployed at the scene.

On Thursday morning, deputies began escorting about 100 evacuated residents of River Community and Camp Williams back to their homes. The mountain communities are located in the East Fork area of the San Gabriel Mountains, north of Azusa and Glendora.

About 2,000 recreational campers also were evacuated on Sunday, and  some of them left their equipment behind. About 9 a.m. Saturday, authorities will begin escorting the campers back into the area to retrieve their belongings, but will then escort them back out, said Nathan Judy of the Angeles National Forest. The area will remain closed for recreational camping while the firefighting effort continues, Judy said.

The fire broke out in the Camp Williams trailer park off San Gabriel Canyon Road, also known as state Route 39. The cause remains under investigation.

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