Firefighters contain Shirley wildfire, evacuation orders lifted

Firefighters contain Shirley wildfire, evacuation orders lifted

Evacuation ordered issued in wake of a smoky mountain wildfire west of a lake near Bakersfield in California were lifted on Monday as firefighters after firefighters made an important progress in containing the blaze.

The Shirley fire was first spotted on Friday last week. By Saturday night, the aggressive blaze had engulfed more than 800 acres. The smoky fire forced authorities to issue evacuation orders to more than 500 households in the area.

But, firefighters managed to contain nearly 50 per cent of the smoky wildfire by Monday, encouraging authorities to lift evacuation orders. They dug a fire line almost all the way around the fire and burnt vegetation in its path, preventing the fire from spreading further.

Cheryl Chipman, a spokesperson for the fire department, said, "It's running out of fuel basically, and it is burning downhill, so the fuel load is lighter as it goes downhill to brush and grasses rather than conifers."

The blaze destroyed at least three houses, and the U. S. Forest Service confirmed that in a statement that two of the burned houses appeared to be abandoned. It also charred several square miles of trees and brush, and threatened electricity lines and communications equipment.

Firefighters used air tankers and helicopters to contain the blaze in steep and rugged terrain at elevations of up to 4,000 feet.

The affected area is very near popular recreational spot in the Sequoia district but the Forest Service has assured that horseback riding, camping, rafting and other activities in the district were not affected by the blaze.

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