Weather Helps Crews on Whitehall Area Blaze

By Beacon Staff

WHITEHALL – Firefighters caught a break Sunday on a 620-acre wildfire west of Whitehall as higher humidity and calm winds slowed the blaze almost to a standstill.

“Activity is pretty light right now. It’s pretty quiet,” the Bureau of Land Management’s David Early said late Sunday afternoon.

About 150 people have either permanent or seasonal homes within a mile or two of the fire, scattered about the unincorporated areas of Pipestone and Radar Creek; and about 80 percent of those residents voluntarily evacuated on Saturday and have not yet returned, Early said.

The Cactus fire was reported about noon Saturday and is burning primarily on Bureau of Land Management land.

“It’s up on a high, rocky ridge with timber on it,” Early said.

Two 20-person ground crews were called in Sunday to augment firefighting efforts and a professional incident management team has been assigned to the fire. In all about 130 people were fighting the blaze Sunday, aided by five fire engines and four helicopters dropping water on the fire, the BLM spokesman said.

No one has been hurt fighting the fire and no structures were lost, Early said.

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