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Tired fire crews in Northern California should soon be able to go home. One big blaze was 100% contained by 11 PM on Friday. Another was 80%. Weary firefighters have battled the blazes since Tuesday.
The fire in Mendocino county, that began off Highway 20 near Potter Valley, was described as 100% contained by fire captain Karen Shubin of the CDF Command Center at Howard Forest in Mendocino. Arson, she said, has been determined as the cause.
A vehicle was seen in the area where the fire began, said Shubin, and the department has leads that may result in identification of a suspect.
"Prescribed burns" in the area--done earlier in the year to reduce the amount of available fuel on the forest floor--helped firefighters, said Shubin.
The fire consumed 2,800 acres. No new acres were burned since Thursday. Containment required a total crew of 950 firefighters, some of whom are now being released.
No structures were lost in the fire that at one point threatened subdivisions at the base of Cow Mountain.
A larger fire in Marin county destroyed 45 homes. The number, though still high, has been revised down since yesterday when it was set at 48. According to CDF fire captain Emmet Monahan, some structures were counted twice in the earlier estimate.
The fire had been 80% controlled by 11 PM on Friday, with 100% control expected by midnight on Saturday. Two-hundred additional acres have burned since Thursday, bringing the total number of acres burned to 11,300.
Cooler weather helped firefighters Thursday in Marin, and the trend continued Friday, with winds from the southwest bringing more moisture, said Monahan.
No fire personnel has been released yet from Marin. 2,164 firefighters, 162 engines, 8 air tankers, and 10 helicopters have battled the blaze.
All of the homes lost were in Paradise Ranch Estates.
The fire was started from embers from an illegal campfire, and so far there are no suspects in the case.
October is fire season in California. Yesterday there were 103 fires in the U.S., 70 of them in California.
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