Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Gaining on Witch Fire

Posted @ 11:42 AM

RANCHO SANTA FE … Firefighters were cautious the deadly Witch Fire was
slowing its menacing pace this morning, but remained on alert, dousing small
smoldering fires and awaiting a return of the blowing Santa Ana winds.

"There are no structures in danger at the moment," said Kevin Wegener,
strike team leader of the Placer Co. Fire Department. "Yesterday was much
worse. We couldn't stay ahead of it. Today there's not as much danger for the
moment."

Wegener, who arrived from his Central California base yesterday at 7 a.m.
and had not slept since then, said his crews were now ahead of the blaze,
dousing hot spots ignited by flying embers.

"A lot of what we are seeing now is interior burning in advance of the main
fire," said Wegener from the corner of Las Colinas and Via de la Valle at
11:15 a.m. "We are ahead of the main front, something we couldn't do
yesterday. It kept jumping ahead of us yesterday. It's much better today."

Interior burning describes small fire that leap ahead of the main fire
line, igniting dry brush with embers carried along by the winds.

Earlier today, firefighters fought interior fires along El Mirador and Las
Colinas, hoping to stay ahead of the blaze that torched 30 to 35 homes last
night in this North County luxury community. Winds were relatively clam before
noon.
-- Arthur Salm

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