TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Crews get control of some wildfires buring in Western states

AP
An Air National Guard helicopter moves in to make a water drop as the Lodge Fire Complex between Leggett and Laytonville, Calif., on Friday Aug. 8, 2014.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, 6:33 p.m.
 

SAN FRANCISCO — Eight firefighters who suffered minor burns while battling a wildfire in Northern California left the hospital on Saturday as crews gained enough ground on other blazes across the West to allow hundreds of people to return to their homes.

Three firefighters from Santa Clara County and five inmate firefighters from the Salt Creek Camp, a minimum-security facility in California, received minor burns as they battled a fast-moving blaze about 160 miles north of San Francisco in Mendocino County late Friday night.

The inmate crews work side by side with firefighters and do everything from battling blazes to helping build containment lines, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said.

The injured firefighters were released early Saturday, just hours after being airlifted to the burn center at the University of California, Davis, for treatment, Tolmachoff said. No details were immediately available on how they were injured.

“They are in good spirits,” Tolmachoff said. “Although their injuries were minor, we still take them very seriously.”

An evacuation order was issued late Friday for the fire that now threatens nearly 60 structures across six communities, Tolmachoff said. The blaze, which was started by lightning on Wednesday, has charred more than 11 square miles in steep and rugged terrain but is partially contained, officials said.

Nearly 2,000 firefighters and 15 helicopters battled the fire in the Wilderness Lodge Area near Laytonville, Capt. Carlos Guerrero said Saturday.

“The fire is burning in heaving timber and is proving to be quite a challenge,” Tolmachoff said, adding that crews faced dry, breezy conditions in anticipation of more lightning strikes on Sunday.

“That could create a whole new set of problems,” she said.

Elsewhere in the West:

• Crews gained more control over a wildfire in Oregon's wind-swept Columbia River Gorge, allowing the evacuation order for 740 threatened residences to be lifted, the state Department of Forestry said on Saturday.

Officials told residents to remain on alert because firefighters were concerned about unburned fuel near the fire, which has charred about 5 square miles since it started Tuesday.

• A dozen wildfires in central and eastern Washington state put more than a thousand homes and structures in some danger Saturday, though firefighters started to get control of about half the blazes.

• Crews reached partial containment of Idaho's largest wildfire, which has burned about 92 square miles on the Idaho side of the Snake River across from Oregon and Washington.

Three firefighters there have been injured: One received a gash on his leg from a chain saw and required stiches, another suffered heat-related problems, and a third had a scratched cornea.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Judge orders W.Va. agency to release pollution data
  2. Man caught jumping White House fence
  3. 4 private security guards convicted
  4. Coburn’s final ‘Wastebook’ tallies $25B in what he considers ‘pork’
  5. Ho-hum winter predicted
  6. Obama’s credit card declined in New York restaurant
  7. Alleged trooper killer may have been seen Friday
  8. Virginia police hunt for clues near where body found
  9. Riots shake Keene State College in New Hampshire
  10. Hawaii residents relax as Hurricane Ana threat eases
  11. Governor to form Ferguson Commission to study underlying social issues in shooting
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.