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Firefighters gain ground on Inyo County fire; evacuation orders still in place

The location of the Pleasant fire burning in rural Inyo County.

Firefighters gained ground Monday against a wind-fueled fire burning in rural Inyo County, reporting some containment for the first time in their daylong firefight and lifting most evacuation orders.

The so-called Pleasant fire was 25% contained late Monday afternoon, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Though fire officials initially guessed the blaze had scorched 2,800 acres, they later downgraded that number to 2,250 acres, citing more accurate mapping.

About 400 firefighters worked to contain the fire, which broke out Sunday afternoon near the Pleasant Valley Reservoir and Highway 395, north of Bishop.

Strong winds had led officials to evacuate about 200 people Sunday night in the rural high desert area. But they subsided by Monday afternoon and Tuesday’s forecast for the area was “pretty normal,” according to Cathey Mattingly, a CalFire spokeswoman. “That should let us make some progress,” she said.

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The fire exploded quickly Sunday, growing from 100 acres to 900 in a few hours and forcing the shutdown of Highway 6, a major traffic artery to Nevada. Sheriff’s deputies went door-to-door in some neighborhoods, urging residents to leave.

As of Monday morning, Mattingly said, there were no reports that the fire had destroyed any structures. One of the areas threatened is home to the Laws Railroad Museum, a historic railroad station built in the 1880s.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

kate.mather@latimes.com

@katemather

alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

@AleneTchek


UPDATES:

8:55 p.m.: This article was updating with a new containment figure and forecast from CalFire.

2:26 p.m.: This story was updated with new details from CalFire.

This article was originally published at 9:35 a.m.


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