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Big Pine fire contained at 5,000-plus acres

September 16, 2011

A helicopter drops water from a nearby valley source on flames from the John Fire Wednesday.The fire burned approximately 5,300 acres southwest of Big Pine and was expected to be fully contained yesterday. Photo by Tom Heindel

Hundreds of firefighters spent the last several days battling the John Fire south of Big Pine, which burned 5,353 acres along the foothills of the Sierra.
According to CalFire, the lead agency in charge of suppression efforts, the fire was 97 percent contained as of 4 p.m. Thursday and full containment was expected yesterday morning.
Two firefighters were injured Wednesday while battling the blaze, but according to CalFire, their injuries were minor. No damage to any structures or vehicles has been reported.
The blaze began Tuesday, Sept. 13 at approximately 1:30 p.m. The fire first began moving west up the slopes toward the Sierra Nevada but winds forced the fire north toward Crater Mountain and Big Pine. Several roads were closed (they’ve since been re-opened), and an evacuation advisory was sent to residents in the southwest corner of the community.
Crews from CalFire will remain in the Crater Mountain and surrounding areas mopping up hot spots for the next several days. The crews will also work on fire suppression repair to sensitive environmental areas.
CalFire will remain in command of the clean-up efforts with assistance from the California Highway Patrol, Inyo County Sheriff’s Office and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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