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Perry Hall
This was hardly a fair fight

At 6:30 in the morning Tuesday, Debora Lutz of the U.S. Forest Service got the first sign she was in for a hellacious day in the air war against the Witch. The Witch fire in northern San Diego County had already devoured more than 150,000 acres, and was eating its way down the San Dieguito River Valley, heading straight for the blue-chip seaside real estate of Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe. And now -- good morning, Battalion Chief Lutz -- the city of Ramona's main water pump had died, courtesy of a burning power transmission line. That could mean no water to fill the bellies of Lutz's small, ad hoc fleet of air tankers based at Ramona Airport. No water to dilute the blood-red fire...

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