Con­tain­ment in Kin­cade Fire at 30 per­cent

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - By Ale­jan­dra ReyesVe­larde and Julia Wick

CAL­IS­TOGA — Fire­fight­ers have bat­tled three ma­jor bouts of winds that fiercely pushed back their ef­forts to get a han­dle on the flames in the mas­sive Kin­cade fire, but they’re now fac­ing an eas­ier road.

Con­tain­ment of the fire, which grew slightly to 76,825 acres, dou­bled overnight to 30% as of Wed­nes­day morn­ing, ac­cord­ing to the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Forestry and Fire Pro­tec­tion.

“The eastern part of the fire was ac­tive overnight, but fire­fight­ers con­tin­ued to make for­ward progress as a whole,” even amid the fi­nal strong wind event of the week, ac­cord­ing to fire and weather of­fi­cials.

Tues­day night, winds in high ter­rain reached 60 mph, and in the val­leys where the fire is burn­ing, winds blew up to 30 mph, said Spencer Tan­gen, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice. By Wed­nes­day morn­ing, the winds had al­ready be­gun to slow.

“We’re not ex­pect­ing an­other wind sim­i­lar to what we’ve seen, at least un­til mid next week,” Tan­gen said. That will likely help fire­fight­ers con­tinue to make progress.

Jonathan Cox, a Cal Fire spokesman, said Tues­day that fire­fight­ers were brac­ing for a chal­leng­ing evening.

“If we are look­ing good as far as fire growth this time to­mor­row morn­ing, I feel like that cau­tious op­ti­mism will be so­lid­i­fied,” he said. “If we’re not, if we have ex­plo­sive growth tonight, we have our work cut out for us.”

The out­come was in their fa­vor, likely be­cause gusts in the val­leys near where the Kin­cade fire was burn­ing were not as strong and this wind event was weaker than pre­vi­ous ones over­all, Tan­gen said.

De­spite the fire’s mas­sive scale and the large num­ber of struc­tures that have been dam­aged — 94 homes have been de­stroyed — there have been no deaths re­ported in the blaze. Fire of­fi­cials say that’s partly be­cause of a proac­tive ap­proach and vast evac­u­a­tion zones that have taken many out of harm’s way.

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