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Winds dying down in 1,800-acre Sequoia National Forest fire

June 5, 2012 | 10:48 am

Sequoia fire
Crews battling an 1,800-acre fire in the Sequoia National Forest hoped another day of cooler temperatures and calmer winds Tuesday would help their containment efforts.

The George fire began Friday as a five-acre blaze but quickly spread over the weekend after erratic winds fueled flames east toward the Golden Trout Wilderness Area, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Denise Alonzo.

Feeding off dead and downed trees, the fire ballooned to 1,600 acres and reached an area that hasn't burned in 140 years.

Fire officials worried about similar patterns Monday but said the winds were replaced by higher humidity and cooler temperatures. More than 700 firefighters were able to begin building fire lines and start mop-up efforts, keeping the blaze to about 1,800 acres.

The fire was an estimated 35% contained Tuesday, officials said, but threatened a 25-building recreational facility. Several roads and trails in the area also have been closed.

Investigators were trying to determine what sparked the fire and asked anyone with information to call a tip line at (559) 294-4894.

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— Kate Mather

twitter.com/katemather

Image: Approximate location of the fire is shown in red. Credit: Google Maps

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