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Firefighters Get Upper Hand in Tahoe's South Shore Blaze

July 05, 2002|From Associated Press

STATELINE, Nev. — Firefighters neared victory over a blaze that continued into the Fourth of July at Lake Tahoe's tourist-jammed south shore that burned nearly 700 acres of forest and narrowly missed many upscale homes and condominiums.

"We really did throw everything at it as quick as we could," said Laura Williams, spokeswoman for the Sierra Front Fire Dispatch Center in Minden, Nev.

The assault paid off as about 650 hustling firefighters, aided by calmer winds, managed to get a line around 60% of the burn area a day after the fire broke out.

After a massive attack Wednesday by ground crews, air tankers and helicopters that dumped Tahoe water on hot spots, Forest Service spokesman Rex Norman said the air tanker flights were halted Thursday as the fire died down.

Full containment was expected for Saturday.

"Luckily, there was hardly any wind," said Forest Service spokeswoman Barbara Rebiskie. "Mother Nature did really well today."

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