**UPDATE: Fire declared knocked down at 4:58 p.m., per Los Angeles County Fire Department.**
WALNUT — Nearly 200 firefighters rushed to battle a brush fire that ignited near homes Friday afternoon, authorities said.
The fire was first reported about 3:50 p.m. along the 600 block of Silver Valley Trail, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire officials said.
Firefighters estimated the fire was about 2 acres in size when they arrived, and immediately called for reinforcements, “Because of the weather and the closeness to the homes,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Quvondo Johnson said.
Water-dropping helicopters were also quickly brought to bear on the flames, he added.
Kim Watts, who works at the Walnut Senior Center, said someone came in and announced that the hillside was on fire.
“I saw the flames and ran in to call the fire department,” she said. “They said they were on the way.”
Watts added she was relieved to see helicopters arrive on the scene and begin making water drops.
The flames appeared to be subsiding near the senior center, though there was still a great deal of smoke, Watts said.