BISHOP, Calif. – Fire crews are finally making progress on the Airport Fire which has burned 4,136 acres in east-central California. It still threatens about 150 structures.
The fire started Wednesday around 4 p.m. in Inyo County, east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. A Wind Advisory was in effect for the region Wednesday with reported wind gusts of 40-55 mph.
As of Thursday morning, firefighters reported 0% containment of the Airport Fire, which forced evacuations in the town of Big Pine east of Route 395, White Mountain Research Center and Owens Valley (Caltech) Radio Observatory. Overnight the fire grew from 1,800 to 2,800 acres.
Officials lifted evacuation orders late Thursday after reporting 20% containment. But, Warm Springs Road is still closed east of Highway 395.
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So far, there have been no injuries or structures burned. Cal Fire expects full containment by February 24.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) summoned 690 firemen to battling the fire with 3 helicopters, 7 air tankers, 7 bulldozers and 63 engines.
The department is investigating the cause which is still unknown.