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Woman killed in Eastern Sierra wildfire identified

WALKER, Calif. (AP) — A person killed when a ferocious wildfire tore through a remote community in California’s eastern Sierra Nevada this week has been identified as a 69-year-old woman, authorities said Friday.

The remains of Sallie Joseph were found in the debris of her burned home in Walker, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office said.

“Her family has been notified, and our hearts go out to them for their loss,” Sheriff Ingrid Braun said in a statement.

Joseph was an Eastern Sierra poet, the Gardnerville, Nevada, Record-Courier reported. She contributed to and helped compile “Rain on the Sage: More Poetry from the Hunewill Ranch” published in 2003.

Dubbed the Mountain View Fire, the blaze erupted at midday Tuesday in Walker, one of several tiny communities along U.S. 395 near the California-Nevada state line.

Fierce winds spread flames into a neighborhood, destroying more than 90 structures including some homes. The fire scorched more than 32 square miles (84 square kilometers) before overnight rain and snow all but doused it.

Almost all residents of Walker and nearby Coleville were displaced. The Red Cross housed 170 people Tuesday night at an inn in Minden that was designated as a temporary evacuation point.

The cause of the fire remained undetermined, the Sheriff’s Office said.

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