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Madera County fire in forest area heavy with dead trees is contained

Flames from the Bowler fire burn on the forest floor in an area of red fir and lodgepole pine trees in the Sierra National Forest in the mountains of eastern Madera County. Firefighters have dug lines to create a 50-acre box to contain the fire.
Flames from the Bowler fire burn on the forest floor in an area of red fir and lodgepole pine trees in the Sierra National Forest in the mountains of eastern Madera County. Firefighters have dug lines to create a 50-acre box to contain the fire. U.S. Forest Service, Sierra National Forest

Wildland firefighters with the U.S. Forest have contained a small fire burning in an area bristling with dead trees in the mountains of eastern Madera County.

The Bowler Fire was sparked by lighting on Monday and has burned about 35 acres in the Sierra National Forest north of the Bowler Campground.

Firefighters’ efforts were complicated on Wednesday afternoon when a pair of thunderstorm cells passed over the area, with winds helping to whip up the flames. The second of the two storm cells, however, did drop some rainfall to help slow the fire’s spread.

Because of the number of dead trees in the area, fire crews including the Forest Service’s Crane Valley Hotshots are focusing on building a 50-acre containment area to keep the fire from growing.

The Forest Service reported that there’s been no history of fire since at least the 1930s, but there has been logging from the recent sale of hazard timber in the area, which is west of Jackass Creek.

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