Crews try to keep fire in Sierra National Forest from crossing river

Firefighters have slowly begun to make progress against a growing 7,000-acre wildfire burning in the Sierra National Forest, officials reported Thursday.

The French fire, which started along the Rock Creek and Fish Creek campgrounds, is now 10% contained after burning largely out of control since it started Monday. Fire crews were working to maintain a fire line to keep flames from crossing the San Joaquin River, according to the U.S. Forest Service.


As firefighters made progress overnight, they continued to focus on building a defense around homes in Hogue Ranch and Kinsmans Flat.

On Thursday fire crews planned a backburning operation to strengthen their bulldozer and fire lines.

Poor air quality, meanwhile, remained a major concern as other wildfires continued to burn in the area.

Little progress was made overnight fighting the El Portal fire, which is burning near Old Portal and Foresta, National Park Service officials said Thursday.

The fire, which is 34% contained, started Saturday and has remained at 3,900 acres.

More than 1,000 fire personnel have been assigned to the blaze, which officials say has cost $4.4 million to fight.

The Dark Hole fire, four miles north of Yosemite Village, has scorched 724 acres and is just 5% contained, officials reported.

Lightning from thunderstorms in Northern California on Wednesday also ignited a series of fires in Siskiyou County.

Lightning also ignited 11 small fires in the Plumas National Forest area, but firefighters were able to quickly put most of them out.

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