California firefighters, aided by cooler weather, have the upper hand on a wildfire that has been burning for a week and has consumed nearly 63,000 acres, officials said Saturday.
The so-called Willow fire was 80 percent contained by Saturday, and some of the 2,700 firefighters who have been battling the worst blaze in the popular resort area of the San Bernardino National Forest were leaving, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry said.
So far, the fire has burned 62,820 acres in the steep mountainous area, where firefighters have been battling the blaze using bulldozers, helicopters and water-dropping air tankers, she said. Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes during the week but were allowed to return Friday.
The firefighters were aided by cooler, damper weather Saturday morning, but temperatures were expected to rise over Labor Day weekend.
"It looks really good today, but it's going to start drying out," the spokeswoman said.