By Neil Nisperos
The San Bernardino County Sun
CRESTLINE, Calif. — The small wildfire that started Thursday night off Highway 18 near Crestline burned only 9.5 acres and was fully contained by 7 a.m. Saturday.
"Firefighters faced hazardous conditions," said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Chon Bribiescas said on Saturday. "They had to work through the chaparral and it was steep and rocky. They did a heck of a job containing the fire to that acreage."
About 30 engines and 400 firefighters from several area fire agencies were sent to battle the fire.
Fire officials say high fire danger remains because of wind and dry weather — even in January.
"We didn't have any other fires in the area, but one of the things we always like to include is that here we are in the middle of January, and we're still contending with high fire danger," Bribiescas said. "In Southern California, it's always fire season."
The blaze was sparked by a truck that crashed off Highway 18.
The blaze, dubbed the 18th Fire, did not force any evacuations, threaten any structures or damage any homes.
One U.S. Forest Service firefighter suffered a possible fractured ankle while fighting the blaze.
The fire began at 11:10 p.m. Thursday after Jesus Arturo Gomez Lozano, 28, of Twin Peaks, lost control of his truck while rounding a curve. The vehicle slid to the left and flipped.
Lozano escaped with scrapes before the truck burst into flames. Fire officials said a dog in the vehicle was not injured.
"He rolled 200 feet and he only received minor injuries," Bribiescas said. "He and his dog made it back up to the highway. It was the truck that caused the fire."
The fire led to a closure of Highway 18 from 40th Street in San Bernardino to Highway 138 outside of Crestline. The road was reopened in both directions Friday night.
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