Firefighters Gaining Upper Hand in Mono County Wildfire

Firefighters Gaining Upper Hand in MonoCounty Wildfire

7 June 2007

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USA — The Larson Fire continued to burnThursday, but firefighters said they were making progress.

The fire was sparked Friday and rekindled Tuesday, along U.S. Highway 395between Walker and Coleville, both in California. Firefighters credited morefavorable conditions, lighter winds and some rain, in helping their efforts.

“Last night on the fire it was 37 degrees, that’s what crews weretelling us up there. That’s a nice cold temperature which fire tends to slowdown in a little bit. That, in combination with some terrain improvements, it’sgotten into some rock, less fuels,” said Franklin Pemberton, FireInformation Officer.

As of Thursday morning, the fire had burned about 1,500 acres and was 50percent contained.

Calmer winds enabled air tankers and helicopters to attack the fire from theair. The wind had also pushed the fire in the opposite direction, causing it toburn into itself and preventing it from spreading.

A portion of U.S. 395 that had been closed was reopened Wednesday, andevacuated residents were allowed back into their homes. About 70 family membersof the Marine Corps stationed north of Coleville were among those who returnedhome.

“Today was a piece of cake compared to yesterday. Yesterday, it waspretty scary. The smoke was real thick and black, and the wind was, what didthey say, 75 to 80 miles an hour. I mean, it was coming fast,” said LenoreMartin, resident.

But despite the better conditions, firefighters said they were not calling ita done deal, and that their work was far from over. Fire officials expect fullcontainment by Tuesday.

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