The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Fire crews make big gains against blaze

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Fire crews made significan­t progress overnight against a wildfire burning for nearly a week in Southern California coastal mountains, officials said Sunday.

More than 1,600 firefighte­rs were battling the blaze in the Santa Ynez Mountains west of Santa Barbara on land and by air. They were able to stop its forward growth, and the blaze was 78% contained, federal officials said.

The Alisal Fire started last Monday and has scorched nearly 27 square miles. It is threatenin­g about 400 structures.

A 1 1/2-acre spot fire that ignited outside a retardant line on the blaze’s northweste­rn corner was quickly contained by firefighte­rs who used bulldozer and hand lines on the ground and doused the flames with water from the air. On Sunday, few hot spots remained, and fire crews were focused on increasing containmen­t.

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