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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

River Fire in Owens Valley

CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit fire fighters are continuing their mop up and containment efforts today on the River Fire that broke out Sunday morning February 24, 2013 east of the Owens Valley, California community of Lone Pine.  The fire was reported to CAL FIRE at 8:17 A.M. and was already spreading rapidly in a riverbed east of Lone Pine.  The fire was pushed by winds up to 25 mph. 

Fire equipment at south end of the River Fire north of Highway 136

Firefighters from throughout the Owens Valley responded to fight the fire.  Local volunteer fire fighters from Bishop, Lone Pine, Big Pine, Olancha, and fire fighters from the Inyo National Forest did an excellent job of stopping the fire from crossing California State Highway 136.  Had the fire crossed to the south side of the highway, fire officials say the fire could have potentially burned several thousand additional acres.  No structures were threatened during the fire.  there was a threat to high power lines owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and to some grazing cattle, but the threats were averted.  Two local volunteer fire fighters sustained minor injuries on Sunday.  One was smoke inhalation and the other was debris in the eyes.  Both were treated and released on Sunday.  Additional firefighting resources responded to the fire from the CAL FIRE San Diego and Fresno Units and the Cleveland National Forest as well as resources from the LADWP, California Highway Patrol and the Inyo Sheriff's Department.

Local volunteer firefighters continue mop up of fire where they stopped it north of Highway 136

The high winds returned to the Owens Valley yesterday, Tuesday, February 26th and caused a couple of spot fires outside of the fire area.  These were quickly extinguished by the fire fighters who were working on containment and mop up.  The fire is currently at 407 acres and is 85 percent contained.  CAL FIRE officials expect to have the fire 100 percent contained by 6:00 P.M. Thursday evening February 28, 2013.

Operational briefing Monday morning February 25, 2013
The fast response and fire fighting that basically stopped the fire by Sunday evening is an excellent example of cooperative regional fire protection.