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Power tool used to clear brush blamed for Los Angeles hillside fire
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 LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than 250 firefighters raced to the hills overlooking Los Angeles to battle a blaze Tuesday afternoon they say was sparked by someone using a power tool to clear brush in a neighborhood of multimillion-dollar mansions.

Helicopters repeatedly dropped water on the flames as teams of firefighters on the ground set up a perimeter around the houses.

Firefighters aided by light winds and moderate temperatures quickly made progress against the blaze, which burned across 35 to 40 acres, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart.

About 86 homes were evacuated from the steep hillside neighborhood above West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills but none burned.

 Stewart said firefighters quickly determined the blaze was ignited by someone using a brush-clearing power tool near a home.

“This serves as a strong reminder to residents to only use licensed contractors who follow the safety requirements to include no metal blades and an extinguishing agent at hand,” Stewart said.

She added that exhaust manifolds on such tools can quickly get hot enough to ignite dry brush like that found in the hills where the fire began at about 2:30 p.m.

Stewart said her agency received help battling the blaze from the Los Angeles County, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Culver City fire departments.