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Forest Fire Partially Contained

September 8, 2002

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AZUSA, Calif. (AP) _ A wildfire in the Angeles National Forest that scorched 18,700 acres and destroyed 72 buildings is more than 50 percent contained, officials said.

The fire was ignited by candles used in an animal sacrifice ritual, the U.S. Forest Service said. Parts of a dismembered goat and other animal remains were found inside a ring of rocks in the canyon where the fire began Sept. 1. No arrests have been made.

The fire, 30 miles east of Los Angeles, was 52 percent contained by Saturday and moving away from populated areas. Full containment was expected by Tuesday.

``This is a difficult fire, it’s just been slowly growing,″ said Susie Wood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service. ``It’s in rugged terrain with no roads. The crews have to hike in to build fire lines.″

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