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5,000-acre brush fire almost under control in Inyo County

September 15, 2011 |  8:13 am

Inyo County brush fire A fire that has burned more than 5,000 acres south of Big Pine in Inyo County was 95% contained Thursday morning.

With control of what’s being called the John fire seemingly imminent, officials lifted all evacuation advisories and opened all roads. Highway 395, which is near the fire, never had to be shut down, said Glenn Barley, a public information officer for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The blaze started about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. The cause is under investigation.

Early on, wind conditions challenged multiple agencies and hundreds of firefighters.

“The wind was initially pushing it to the west, then shifted and started pushing it to the south,” Barley said. “Then it burned back to the north the first night of the fire.”

He added: “The weather is working in our favor right now. Things are improving. Temperatures are down. There was pretty good humidity recovery overnight. No extraordinary winds at this point.”

Officials hope for full containment by Friday morning. Two firefighters were recovering from minor injuries. There are no reports so far of property damage.


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-- Howard Blume

Image: Map shows the area where the Big Pine brush fire broke out. Credit: Google Maps