Crews make major progress on Windy Fire, increase containment to 25%

KSEE24 News

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – Fire crews made major progress on the Windy Fire overnight, increasing containment from 6% Tuesday night to 25% by Wednesday morning.

“A lot of that has to do with the cooler weather that we had the last couple of days. We actually got some minimal amount of rain across the fire area, and while that’s not going to put it out, it certainly helps,” said Windy Fire Public Information Officer Jim Mackensen.

Fire officials said that the strong winds coming from the north and northwest over the last few days also helped with containment on the north side of the fire, but have caused some spot fires to the south, which was their main area of focus Wednesday.

“We still have a lot of structures in here, we have a lot of heat down here still, so we’ve got a high concentration of our resources around all the homes in the Sugarloaf region,” said Mackensen.

With almost 88,000 acres burned so far, Mackensen said the Windy Fire is expected to continue growing to the east.

“Our biggest concerns right now are along this eastern side,” said Mackensen. “A lot of really inaccessible terrain down here, either for engines or crews, it’s just really, really thick brush you can’t even see through it, let alone cut your way through it.”

Crews are hoping to stop at the Windy Fire at the Kern River check drainage, with an estimated containment date in mid-October.

More than 2,000 personnel are working to get the Windy Fire under control.

Effective Thursday at noon, evacuation orders will be downgraded to warnings for Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Coy Flat, Pierpoint, Quaking Aspen, Ponderosa, and Sequoia Crest.

Mountain Aire and Rogers Camp will remain closed under evacuation orders.

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