July 14 (UPI) -- Fire crews could extinguish the blaze on the USS Bonhomme Richard within 24 hours, Rear Admiral Philip Sobeck said Tuesday.
"Significant progress has been made," Sobeck told reporters at a briefing.
Previously, San Diego's fire chief had said the blaze, which broke out Sunday morning, could continue to burn for several days.
Helicopters have dumped 1,200 buckets of water on the amphibious assault vessel, which let crews move further on board to fight the blaze, and tugboats assisted from the waterline.
According to Sobeck, the ship is stable and its million-gallon fuel tanks are no longer is no longer in danger of catching fire.
Late Monday night, the Navy announced that personnel who were hospitalized due to injuries suffered while fighting an ongoing blaze on the Bonhomme Richard have been released.
A total of 36 sailors and 23 civilians have treated for injuries like heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation caused by the fire.
The fire was first reported in a lower cargo area where seafaring tanks and landing craft are parked, and appears to have started in an area where cardboard boxes, rags and other ship maintenance supplies are stored, according to Rear Adm. Philip Sobeck, commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 3.
One million gallons of fuel are stored on the ship, and Sobeck said firefighters are working to ensure the fire doesn't reach that section of the ship.
There was also an explosion of unknown origin on the ship that took place about two hours after the blaze was first reported.