By Leon Worden / SCVNews.com
A fire that may have been sparked accidentally by a resident welding a fence burned five acres of hillside in Acton Monday afternoon.
The fire erupted shortly after 1 p.m. on a grassy hill dotted with juniper bushes and scrub oaks south of Bent Spur Drive. Winds of 10 to 15 mph pushed the flames away from the ranch-style homes and onto state-owned land in Aliso Canyon.
Los Angeles County firefighters and inmate hand crews fully contained the so-called “Aliso Fire” at about 3 p.m., before it could spread into the Angeles National Forest. USDA Forest Service firefighters were on hand to help out.
“We contained it to a little bowl area behind these residences,” said Inspector Bob Mull of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Bent Spur resident Ron Monahan manned a garden house to douse the last smoldering embers behind his house. He said he believes the fire started when a neighbor was grinding or welding a fence and it sparked.
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Mull couldn’t confirm the report in a 2:30 p.m. interview, as investigators had not yet interviewed the homeowners.
About 100 firefighters were assigned to the blaze, along with three water-dropping helicopters, a dozer team and several hand crews and engine companies.
Monahan said the fire spread quickly. Within moments it had consumed two acres.
“I was just up top and I didn’t see (any) fire until I saw somebody run up my driveway with a shovel,” the homeowner said. “I was like, holy cow. It spread really fast.”
Ray and Irene Fox were home when the fire consumed the hill behind them.
“I was sitting in my lazy chair watching the football game, and somebody said there’s a fire up on the hill. So we came running out,” Ray Fox said.
“I walked out and all I could see was smoke,” said Irene Fox. “We really want to thank all the firefighters.”