A 300-acre brush fire that moved within 1,000 feet of a neighborhood of million-dollar homes forced the evacuation Friday of about 120 people from their houses, authorities said.

Firefighters assisted by water-dropping helicopters, however, were able to keep flames of the San Gabriel Valley fire away from the homes and had it nearly contained by Friday evening, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Ken Sotro said. He added that the fire may have been deliberately set.Fire crews in San Bernardino County, meanwhile, had more than half of a 10,655-acre arson brush fire contained Friday after it threatened hundreds of homes Thursday.

The San Gabriel Valley fire, which erupted about noon in Tonner Canyon, 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, burned 300 acres as it moved to within 1,000 feet of Country Estates, a housing tract of million-dollar homes, Sotro said.