MONROVIA, Calif., April 22 (UPI) -- Fire officials in Monrovia, Calif., announced a brush fire that threatened 400 homes is 85 percent contained and warned of a "very dry" fire season.
In a statement released Sunday by the city, lifting evacuation orders in a fire that burned more than 100 acres and involved more than 220 firefighters, 65 engines and air support, Fire Chief Chris Donovan noted the importance of clearing brush from residences.
He said the fire was driven in part by the presence of very heavy brush that had not burned in 55 years and predicted a "very dry and very bad" upcoming season of fires.
The Los Angeles Times reported Southern California is approaching its predicted fourth-driest year since 1877.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which handles fire protection for about a third of the state, said at the time of the Monrovia fire it has dealt with 150 more fires thus far this year than last year.