September23rd

Fast-Moving Station Fire Confounds Crews

Posted on Wednesday, September 23, 2009, under: Live-Breaking

Fire officials suggest that the Station Fire has toned down slightly from Monday night. They’ve expressed hope that crews can contain more of the sprawling fire Tuesday.

U.S. Forest Service firefighter Joseph Copher has worked two shifts on the front line. He says this is one of the fastest-moving wildfires he’s ever seen.

Joseph Copher: “We’ve seen 200 to 250 flame lengths just ripping up the hill, so fast. One second, you’re looking at a piece of brush going off and then five minutes later the whole face of the mountain is a big wall of flame and then the sky is totally orange, red and glowing. It’s dancing off the smoke. The whole thing is so surreal, it’s crazy.”

Officials say flames spread 16,000 acres Monday night. The burn area is approaching 120,000 acres. Early assessments indicate that the Station Fire has destroyed about 50 homes and structures. The incident commander says for every home destroyed, firefighters probably saved 15.

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