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Brush Fire Threatens Hillside Homes In Benedict Canyon Area

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A brush fire threatened several homes Tuesday in the Beverly Crest area near Benedict Canyon, but residents were allowed to return to their homes by evening.

The fire broke out just before 2:30 p.m. near the 9800 block of West Portola Drive near Benedict Canyon, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

About 40 acres were burned and the fire was 40 percent contained as of 11 p.m., authorities said.

The fire was caused by a man using a weed trimmer for brush clearance in the area, officials said Tuesday afternoon.

The LAPD say the accident doesn't appear criminal.

Two firefighters had to be treated for minor injuries while working the rough terrain where wildlife butts right up to homes.

The Fire Department says we had a lot of rain earlier in the year, which allowed grass to grow.

But now it has turned into dry fuel with the recent heat.

"We also need to plant and maintain trees, because they're the ones catching fire. Because of the drought, they're getting sick and they're dying off," homeowner Courtney Gross said.

The LAPD says the worker who caused the fire wasn't licensed to clear brush.

Voluntary and even some isolated mandatory evacuations were in place, and residents near the flames were urged to stay away from their homes.

Evacuation orders were lifted about 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Air and ground units responding to the blaze gained an upper hand quickly, and by 4:15, little active flame was visible in the area. Crews continued by air to pour water and fire retardant in the area to keep hot spots from reigniting and embers from spreading.

More than 250 firefighters on the ground were fighting the fire, along with five helicopters and four fixed-wing aircraft.

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