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Navy Training Exercise Starts Blaze

A Navy training exercise involving Weapons Test Squadron V-X-31 in the Kennedy Meadows area is being blamed for a fire clearly visible in the Indian Wells Valley.

The fire has burned nearly 20 acres two miles northeast of the Chimney Peak Ranger Station in Sequoia National Forest.

China Lake spokeswoman Doris Lance says the fire began as a result of a helicopter search and rescue training exercise that involved “smoke testing” in the area.