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Scotts Fire nearing full containment

The 5-day-old Scotts Fire in Lake County already was 75 percent contained Wednesday morning and on schedule to reach full containment by Saturday, if not earlier, Cal Fire personnel said.

The wildland blaze northwest of Lakeport had reached 4,618 acres but was far smaller than officials initially feared, one spokesman said.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief and spokesman Mike Carr said crews were able to reduce the acreage by working hard to build fire lines directly at the edge of the blaze instead of at a distance, which is sometimes necessary.

Scotts Fire 9.07.12

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"This fire teetered right on the edge of being able to do that," because of steep terrain and continuing dry, hot conditions, Carr said. "We asked the bulldozers to go in and really work on the limits of what bulldozers are able to do."

But officials made a decision to attack the fire directly and aggressively, forcing crews to work under harsh, dangerous conditions but ultimately speeding containment of the fire - or so it appears.

Cal Fire's initial goal was to keep the fire south of Highway 20 and east of Scotts Valley Road. But the fire now covers a far smaller area because of early successes, he said.

A direct attack "keeps the fire small... and allows us to no have large areas of unburned fuel or have to do large areas of burn operations, which basically string out the fire," Carr said.


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