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Progress in Little Bear fire efforts

June 16, 2012 • Local News

Considerable progress made along the southern end of the Little Bear fire contributed to yet another five percent increase in its containment Friday, as firefighters continue to build containment lines and cool off the fire front. The fire, 45 percent contained, remains about 38,000 acres, and has destroyed 224 residential structures and 10 outbuildings.

Total personnel continued to climb, reaching 1,449 by Friday morning, with 37 incident management crews, 85 fire engines, 12 helicopters and 16 bulldozers.

The main focus for firefighters Friday was patrol and cleanup on the south, east and north sides of the fire. Indirect line construction continued on the west and northwest flanks, where the fire is most active, with support from helicopter water drops.

“A lot of the progress that was made (Thursday) was along the southern end with burn outs where they’ve been mopping up. Those areas are now secure,” said Dan Ware, spokesman for New Mexico Forestry Division. “It’s just the same hard work that’s been going on all week. … We’ve had a lot of really great firefighters up here, and despite any adverse weather conditions, they’re able to get this work done. It just says a lot about their professionalism, and their abilities. There are years and years and years of experience up on that mountain right now.”

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