Babbitt Joins Effort to Put Out Wildfire

Associated Press

Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt joined the front fire lines Saturday, shoveling and stamping out embers of a 1,300-acre wildfire.

It was Babbitt’s third time assisting hot shot crews in the fires throughout the Western states this season, said Jan Bedrosian, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management.

“He was doing pretty good. The guys were just treating him like one of the guys,” Bedrosian said of Babbitt, who earned his certification to fight fires this spring.

The fire, which is burning in a forest area between Truckee and Reno, Nev., was 100% contained at 6 a.m. Saturday. It was unclear when the fire would be controlled, said Karen Finlayson, a spokeswoman at the fire information center.


Finlayson said that 1,301 firefighters were battling the blaze. Four firefighters were injured, including one who suffered a broken collarbone, she added.

Elsewhere in Northern California, firefighters launched an aggressive effort to smother the last embers of two other fires. Moderate weather conditions helped their efforts, fire officials said.

Near Nevada City in the Sierra Nevada foothills, the 100-acre Champion Fire that destroyed two homes was expected to be controlled by 9 p.m. Saturday.

In Tuolumne County, residents who were chased from their houses by a 1,400-acre wildfire were back home as firefighters finished quelling the blaze.


The creek fire was contained Friday evening and was expected to be out by Sunday evening, said Mary Hale, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service.

Meanwhile, a fire burning since late May in a remote area southeast of Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park expanded Friday, park officials said.