Friday, May 11, 2007

Catalina fire lays siege to Avalon
Hundreds of residents and tourists are forced to flee the island.

By Louis Sahagun and Sam Quinones, Times Staff Writers
May 11, 2007

A roaring fire fueled by winds and dry brush burned a path through Santa Catalina Island and reached the edges of Avalon on Thursday night, prompting an urgent evacuation of hundreds of island residents and tourists.

At least 10 structures and more than 4,000 acres had burned by 10:40 p.m. despite an aerial and ground assault by firefighters that included crews shipped onto the island on military hovercraft and helicopters from Camp Pendleton.

A small armada of ferries loaded hundreds of people at Avalon Harbor and took them more than 20 miles to San Pedro and Long Beach, where shelters were set up.
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