Flames burned as close as 200 yards from homes Tuesday night in the Glenoaks area of Glendale.
Rich Wells of the Glendale Police Department said about 10 people were being fed at the Glendale Civic Auditorium at 1401 N. Verdugo Road where people had evacuated. Both Wells and Devin Gales of the Los Angeles Fire Department said they expected full containment by midnight, unless the winds changed.
No property was lost and no injuries were reported, authorities said.
As many as 300 firefighters from Los Angeles, Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale, aided by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, joined the fight.
At least five helicopters, including the Los Angeles Fire Department's big helitanker, had sprayed hundreds of gallons of water on the flames. As of 5:45 p.m., the fire had grown to 40 acres, with light and heavy brush burning and light winds fanning the flames.
The fire began with four small spot fires along the Glendale (2) Freeway around 4:10 p.m., said Devin Gales of the Los Angeles Fire Department. An hour later, the flames had burned approximately five acres. By 5:45 p.m., it had quickly grown to 40 acres.
It grew quickly in the area near the vicinity of the Ventura (134) and Glendale (2) freeways.
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The largest of the fires went up a ridge and crossed over the top, burning down to the Glenoaks Canyon area of Glendale, where the evacuations were requested. But the flames never reached any homes, although they came within yards of the houses.
Fire trucks and police lined the street below the mountain, keeping the road open for official vehicles.
Two lanes of the Ventura Freeway, just east of the Glendale (2) Freeway, were closed.
Earlier, authorities said the whole freeway might have to be closed.
Gales declined to speculate on whether the fires were suspicious in origin or may have been caused by a car fire.