Firefighters beaten back by intense heat from flames feeding on tinder-dry hillsides regrouped Friday for another attempt to encircle a 3,000-acre brush and timber fire in California’s Sequoia National Park.
Fire crews set backfires in hopes of completing the containment line on the eastern side of the 5-day-old fire in the high country wilderness 45 miles southeast of Fresno, officials said.
The firefighters were forced to retreat several hundred yards earlier in the face of intense flames.
While the fire remained 70% contained, officials said their original estimate of full containment by 8 p.m. Friday was changed to 6 p.m. today because of the setback.
The containment line remained firm on the western flank of the fire near Giant Forest, where ancient 200- to 300-foot sequoia trees stand and the Generals Highway through the park.