Two Fires Become One East of Porterville

August 15, 2008 12:29:39 AM PDT
Fire fighters worked quickly throughout Thursday to contain the Elk and Rodeo fires East of Porterville. By evening the fires, which were two miles apart, joined together. But by then firefighters had a strong grip on the fire and had it mostly contained.Video of the fire shows how easily the fire swept through one canyon and into nearby mountains. Firefighters said it was time to mop up this mess.

"You never know how big one will get," said Mike Reeder.

Reeder from nearby Woodlake and his CAL Fire team are moving post to post to make sure no fires jump the street and spread to other areas. Despite temperatures in the triple digits Reeder said his team's ready to handle these smoldering flames. "I've been doing it a long time. I'm conditioned to it you know. It's like most of us. We're all pretty much conditioned to it."

Firefighters were busy keeping the fire from attacking small structures in the area. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. And Battalion Chief Paul Marquez said the greatest challenge containing this fire has been the steep terrain, dry brush and wind. "The light flashy fuels. The annual grasses. There wasn't too much oak woodlands or oaks in the way and that's what kinda helped this fire move so fast is because the light fuels that just carried the fire really fast," said Marquez.

But with help from several sources above and on the ground the fire should be one-hundred percent contained by Friday morning.

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