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Erratic winds fuel wildfire in Sequoia National Forest

June 4, 2012 |  9:28 am

Approximate location of fire shown in red.

More than 400 firefighters are battling a blaze in the Sequoia National Forest that swelled to more than 1,600 acres by Monday morning, and officials said more resources are expected to arrive throughout the day.

The George fire doubled in size to 1,000 acres Sunday, eating dead and downed trees in an area that hasn't burned in 140 years, Forest Service spokeswoman Denise Alonzo said.

The fire, which was about five acres Friday afternoon, appeared under control until erratic winds pushed the blaze east Saturday afternoon toward the Golden Trout Wilderness. Similar gusts allowed the fire to spread again Sunday.

With more high winds forecast on Monday, Alonzo said crews are "most definitely concerned" about the fire spreading. It was only about 35% controlled Monday.

Several roads and trails in the area have been closed but no structures were threatened, Alonzo said. Hikers and campers were evacuated from the area as crews continued trying to reach others in the Golden Trout Wilderness.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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