Ridge Fire Scorches 5,143 Acres, 20 Percent Contained

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Having burned 5,143 acres, the lightning-caused Ridge Fire is still only 20 percent contained.

Personnel on the scene number 400, including 11 20-person Hotshot crews supported by eight helicopters.

Fire managers said the blaze was most active on the northwest corner, where a portion of the fire burned a pocket of fuel on the west slope of Red Mountain.

Meanwhile, crews have been successful in laying nearly 10 miles of hose to assist with hot spots on the east flank of the fire. Since the fire began on July 17, more than 500,000 gallons of water have been poured on the flames. Additionally, 70,000 pounds of cargo have been lifted into the scene and 350 firefighters have been shuttled in and out of the fire area.

Officials said Friday morning that a specialized planning unit had been assigned to the fire to help identify new strategies to protect nearby whitebark pine and bull trout habitats.

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