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97,000-acre King fire is fully contained, officials say

97,000-acre King fire is fully contained, officials say
A firefighter hoses down hot spots while fighting the King fire. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

The 97,000-acre King fire in the Eldorado National Forest near Sacramento that destroyed 12 homes and forced thousands to evacuate was fully contained Thursday after burning for more than a month, officials said.

The inferno was contained about 4:30 p.m., said Laurence Crabtree, a U.S. Forest Service supervisor for the Eldorado National Forest, "after a grueling month for firefighters and local communities."

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The fast-moving fire destroyed 12 homes and 68 other buildings. About a dozen people were injured in the fire.

At one point during the firefight, the blaze quickly swelled to 50,000 acres, said Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Authorities believe the King fire was intentionally started Sept. 13 by 37-year-old Pollock Pines resident Wayne Huntsman. He was arrested last month on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire.

In a statement, Crabtree said that even though the King fire was contained it was not out. Residents are expected to see smoke from the interior of the fire area until it rains or snows significantly this winter.

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