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Fire in remote Sequoia forest spreading fast

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POSTED July 11, 2014 8:38 p.m.

BAKERSFIELD (AP) — Firefighters aggressively attacked a California wildfire that spread quickly after starting Friday afternoon in a remote part of the Sequoia National Forest, officials said.

The forest where the fire started is south of and separate from the Sequoia National Park east of Fresno, which is famous for its giant Sequoia trees.

The fire broke out around 2 p.m., and within a couple of hours it had burned more than 1 square mile of the Kiavah Wilderness area, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Cindy Thill said. The blaze east of Lake Isabella, 50 miles northeast of Bakersfield, burned through shrubs and skipped across the treetops in some places, she said.

No homes were evacuated or in danger from the so-called Nicholls Fire, Thill said, but firefighters hit it with air tankers and helicopters, and hundreds of firefighters were called in to help slow it on the ground.

No roads cross through that part of the forest, making it accessible only by foot and air, Thill said, and the cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Firefighters from Kern County, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service were converging on the blaze, and a command team had been called in to help manage the fire, Thill said.

“That means we’re going to be here awhile,” she said.

 

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