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Winds Spark Several Fires In Calaveras County

Gusting winds sparked a half-dozen fires today, most on Sierra Pacific Industries land, when burning slash piles got out of control.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported six separate fires just in Calaveras County, all started by logging debris.

The biggest was 30 acres Monday afternoon near the Sourgrass Campground off Highway 4 near Dorrington. Crews were also at another fire nearby, at two separate fires in the West Point area, at one near Sheep Ranch and had already contained a small escape in the Ebbetts Pass area.

Tuolumne County air pollution officials changed Monday’s status from a burn day to a no-burn day at 1 p.m. because of the wind and fire problems.

CDF has suspended all burning at least through Wednesday.

The problems started early Monday when the wind kicked up in the higher elevations, blowing steadily at 10 miles an hour and gusting at the ridge tops over 40 miles an hour.

The National Weather Service has issued a high-wind advisory for much of the state today and tonight.