The fire burned a Forest Service barracks at the Mill Creek Fire Station and several homes around it, the Los Angeles Times reported. Linda Steinberg, a Forest Service administrator, said the buildings were reduced to ash.
"Four of our firefighters and one of our other employees lost everything," she said.
The fire, one of the largest in California history, was reported to be 71 percent contained Thursday. Fire officials said lower temperatures allowed backfires to be lit on the eastern side of the fire, an operation that had been impossible earlier in the week because of conditions.
Since the fire began Aug. 26 in the San Gabriel Wilderness above Los Angeles, two firefighters have been killed and at least 78 houses and scores of other buildings destroyed.