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Wildfire in Sequoia National Forest doubles in size

June 3, 2012 |  7:33 pm

A wind-driven fire in the Sequoia National Forest doubled in size Sunday as erratic afternoon gusts pushed the blaze up a hill and over containment lines.

The George fire expanded to 1,000 acres and is quickly consuming dead and downed trees in an area of the forest that hasn’t burned in 140 years, according to Forest Service spokeswoman Denise Alonzo.

The fire was about five acres Friday afternoon and seemed to be well under control until Saturday afternoon, when high winds pushed the blaze east, in the direction of the Golden Trout Wilderness. The pattern repeated Sunday as afternoon winds thwarted firefighters' effort to build fire-control lines.

“It’s going to be a challenge until the weather gets under control,” Alonzo said.

The fire was about 35% controlled as of Sunday night, she said.

No structures are threatened, she said, and about 250 personnel are fighting the fire.

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 -- Julie Cart

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