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Claremont fire season off to hot start

Seventy-five fire personnel from the US Forest Service were called to the local hillside Monday afternoon to tend to the flames of a basic Mt. Baldy Road brushfire.

The “Shinn Fire”, just north of the San Antonio Dam off Shinn Road, was considered 60 percent contained as of 5:30 p.m., according to Public Affairs Officer Sherry Rollman.

The Angeles National Forest district and other agencies began work on the 15-acre blaze around 3:50 p.m. Helicopters were called to the scene to help fire crews pour dirt and water on the flames traveling up the chaparral and steep terrain of the mountain.

Locals like Abel Chapa peppered the hillsides nearby to catch a glimpse of the area’s first fire of the season. Mr. Chapa was on his way down Mt. Baldy Road on his way to work when he caught sight of the smoke.

“We are all concerned about the fires up here,” he said, who immediately pulled over to call and warn his wife.

Fires in the lower section of the mountain are not an uncommon sight for Mr. Chapa, where he says hikers often take a detour and sometimes create campfires without contemplating the risks, ignoring “no open fire” signs. Mr. Chapa pointed out areas along the ridge where flames wreaked havoc because of reckless activity among other reasons.

Despite suspicions, the cause of the Shinn Fire remains under investigation, according to Ms. Rollman.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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