U.S. Forest Service crews battle the Sweetwater Fire. Courtesy OnScene.TV

Updated at 2:55 p.m. Dec. 8, 2017

The Sweetwater Fire in East County remains largely contained four hours after it broke out Friday morning.

The fire remains at eight acres and holding after igniting at around 9:30 a.m. south of Interstate 8 just west of Japatul Valley Road in Descanso, according to Cleveland National Forest firefighters.

Some crews remain on the scene to ensure that the blaze remains under control and are expected to remain there throughout the day, according to the national forest.

The blaze broke out minutes before county officials briefed reporters on the Lilac Fire, which erupted for unknown reasons at about 11:25 a.m. Thursday just west of Interstate 15 and north of Lilac Road in Pala Mesa amid gusty, arid weather.

That fire has burned 4,100 acres.

Strong and gusty Santa Ana winds drove the Lilac Fire on Thursday and most of the county remained under a “red flag” wildfire warning Friday due to the winds and low humidity levels. But those conditions were somewhat improved Friday with weaker winds and higher humidity levels, though the fire threat was still heightened.

—City News Service

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