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Firefighters make headway on Slide fire

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Firefighters were making headway in efforts to halt the Slide fire’s march west toward Lake Arrowhead, fire officials said Saturday morning.

Firefighters were working today to shore up the blaze’s northwest corner, which has crept into areas burned by the Old fire, through low grass and tree limbs that remain.

Overnight, hand crews cut a line in the unruly fire’s southwest corner amid steep, rocky terrain and near the burned-over community of Fredalba. There is a contingency line to the west.

Hand crews also worked the fire’s northern edge, near Crab Flats, said Tom Hatcher, the fire’s operations section chief.

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Temperatures hovering in the high 60s, light winds and humidity at 18% to 25% should help firefighting efforts, officials said. A dozen helicopters crossed red-tinged clouds, dousing flames with water. The blaze is 25% contained and is the state’s No. 2 firefighting priority.

More than 1,900 fire personnel are battling the blaze, a significantly larger force than in previous days. The blaze has cost $4.5 million to fight.

To the west, the Grass Valley fire was 85% contained.

-- Ashley Powers


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