Lightning Caused Fires Continue to Burn in Mountains
Fires sparked by lightning on Saturday continue to burn today in rugged terrain in the Sierra Nevada mountains, nearly a week after they began. In the Sierra National Forest east of Fresno the Bear Fire has consumed over 700 acres of timber between Edison and Florence Lake.
Ten smoke jumpers, four helicopters and four fixed wing aircraft are battling the blaze, which is in terrain ranging from 7,500 to 9,000 feet in elevation. The fire is currently 50 percent contained. No structures are threatened.
In Kern County, near Lake Isabella two fires, the Clear Fire and the Heald Fire, together known as the Piute Complex fires are now largely contained. They were also sparked by lighting over the weekend. Over 1,000 firefighters were deployed at one point earlier this week, as crews attempted to save the community of Valley View, where 20 structures were threatened.
Firefighters there assembled a temporary helicopter base complete with a portable mixing plant at Havilah to mix fire retardant and water in order to speed up the air attack effort.
UPDATE: 8:30 AM 8/10/12 - As of Friday morning the Clear Fire is 75 percent contained and the Heald Fire is 100 percent contained.