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Where there’s smoke … there’s fast-acting firefighters

January 28, 2013

Fire officials will continue to monitor the ashes of the 15-acre Spring Fire throughout the week to ensure the high winds that are forecast don’t reignite the blaze. Photo by Richard Hanley

In a show of force, nearly 100 local, state and federal firefighters responded to a blaze southeast of Bishop this weekend to ensure high winds didn’t drive the fire into local communities.
According to CalFire, the lead agency on the blaze, the fire broke out at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday south of Warm Springs Road and east of the Owens River.
CalFire Forester Glenn Barley said the cause of the 15-acre Spring Fire is still under investigation.
“The fire was burning in medium brush with strong, 18 mile per hour winds, and low humidity (13 percent) helping to spread the flames,” Barley said.
In addition to Calfire, the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and local volunteer fire departments from Olancha to Mammoth Lakes responded to ensure the blaze did not spread.
“Firefighters made an aggressive initial attack, stopping the fire at 15 acres,” Barley said. He added that there were a total of 95 firefighters on scene, including 14 engines, one bulldozer, four water tenders and three CalFire crews.
Because crews were able to limit the blaze to 15 acres, Barley said no structures were threatened. He also said no firefighters were injured while battling the blaze.
Barley said firefighters expected to have the fire 100 percent contained at noon Monday. “Strong winds and low humidity are expected for the next several days so once mop-up operations are complete, the fire will be checked periodically to ensure no hot spots remain,” Barley said.
“CalFire would like to thank all of the local, federal, and private partners who assisted with the Spring Fire: the U.S. Forest Service-Inyo National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Big Pine Volunteer Fire Department, Bishop Volunteer Fire Department, Olancha Volunteer Fire Department, Independence Volunteer Fire Department, Wheeler Crest Volunteer Fire Department, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Long Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Mammoth Lakes Fire Department and the Inyo County Sheriff,” Barley said. “This fire is another great example of the cooperative efforts by all of the federal, state and local agencies in both Inyo and Mono counties.”
Barley went on to say “the initial responders did a great job halting the fire’s spread with limited resources and with reinforcements responding from four hours away.”

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