SUMMIT VALLEY • Firefighters from across the region spent Thursday battling an 82-acre vegetation fire that briefly threatened homes and shut down Summit Valley Road for hours.
The "Little Fire," as it was dubbed by Cal Fire, was fully contained by 6 p.m.
"Fire helicopters making retardant drops really helped stop the fire's forward rate of spread," said Bill Peters, spokesman for Cal Fire.
The blaze was first reported at about 8:30 a.m. south of Hesperia near Highway 138 and Summit Valley Road, with the smell of smoke heavy in the air across the Victor Valley.
It began as three smaller fires that merged together, Peters said. The cause wasn't immediately known.
There are reports a citizen attempted to put out the fire himself before calling 911, but fed by grass and chaparral with light winds in the area, it soon grew too large for the man to handle.
Cal Fire and county fire authorities called for crews at about 9:30 a.m. to help protect 10 homes and numerous outbuildings that were near the path of the growing fire, officials said. By 10 a.m., fire officials had identified two homes threatened by the fast-moving blaze.
Two helicopters and air tankers were called in to help in the fight, Peters said. Cal Fire, San Bernardino County Fire, Apple Valley Fire Protection District and Rancho Cucamonga Fire Department all sent teams to respond to the incident.
Officials shut down Summit Valley Road near the Hesperia Airport until Thursday evening to prevent commuter traffic from accessing the area.
No evacuations were needed, according to county fire.
Local authorities are preparing for a busier than usual fire season, with this year's drought, low snowpack and early record-high temperatures all cause for concern.
Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at (760) 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.