Firefighters battling the Taylor Bridge wildfire discovered a spot fire on Friday afternoon after flames leaped over a fire line. It was the first time the line had been compromised since Tuesday.
The 10-acre spot fire crossed the line near Emerick Road on the fire’s northern boundary.
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Firefighters discovered it about 1 p.m., and five helicopters are fighting it, with an air tanker on the way. “Right now it’s the priority,” said Randy Shepard, an incident-command spokesman.
Though there are houses near the fire, Shepard said, none of them have been affected.
The hotter, drier weather on Friday may have contributed to the fire’s spread, Shepard said. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for fire danger in the area as temperatures reaching 100 degrees on Friday. Lightning strikes are also possible on Saturday.
The Taylor Bridge fire, now in its fifth day, remains about 33 percent contained within fire lines that enclose an area of more than 22,000 acres. It has destroyed at least 70 homes to date.
U.S. Route 97, on the fire’s eastern flank, which had been closed to traffic for days, was briefly reopened at midday. But it was closed again around 2 p.m. after the spot fire was discovered.