Firefighters Make Progress on California Wildfires

July 22, 2009

Lighter winds and slightly cooler weather havehelped slow a wildfire in Inyo National Forest that forced the evacuation of several vacation homes and nine campgrounds.

The 3,268-acre blaze was 70 percent contained as of Tuesday, July 21, as hand crews and air tankers attacked the flames on open, rocky ground. Humidity was up and winds were light, although temperatures were in the mid-90s, a few degrees cooler than Sunday, July 19, said U.S. Forest spokesman John Louth.

Lightning sparked the Forks Fire on July 19 about 10 miles west of Bishop and temporarily forced evacuation of the vacation homes in the town of Aspendell. The evacuation order was lifted on July 20 night and residents were being allowed to return on July 21, Louth said.

Another fire near Lake Nacimiento in San Luis Obispo County was 100 percent contained on July 21. State fire officials say vehicle exhaust ignited the 175-acre blaze on July 20.

Additionally, a 60-acre blaze broke out on July 20 in San Bernardino and threatened as many as 150 homes, authorities said. One outbuilding was destroyed before firefighters gained control. The fire was 85 percent contained as of press time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sources: InciWeb, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

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