High Winds Test King Fire Containment Lines

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SWANSBORO-

An orange glow seen at a distance from the Swansboro/Mosquito Airport is where firefighters have gone on the offense, igniting back burns.

“Not only because of the wind, but also because the number of homes in the Swansboro and Mosquito area that have been evacuated,” Cal Fire spokesperson Chris Christopherson said.

Bille Landis' sister is among those evacuees.

“It's really in god's hands. If it happens, it happens. But I'm confident that these guys are going to do their job,” Landis said of firefighters.

And it's a big job, especially with the red flag warning in effect through Wednesday night.

“We are being very aggressive. Over the last 24 hours there's been an increase of 2,000 firefighters to the incident,” Christopherson said.

A total of 7,000 firefighters, many battling strong winds and hotter temperatures that could threaten the 35 percent containment they've worked so furiously to achieve Monday night.

Containment was upped to 38 percent Wednesday morning.

A dozen residents in white meadows lost their homes, along with 57 other structures.

Firefighters have seen giant flames ravage 50,000 acres in just one night. And that's what they're working so hard to avoid from happening again.

Most of the containment is in the southern part of the fire zone, where firefighters concentrated their efforts Tuesday.

“The wind’s been blowing the proper way. She's heard reports that her house is still there,” Landis said.

And the true test of the line is to see if it stays secure, despite high winds.

“That's going to be the test if we can hold that with the wind, then we will soon allow those residents to come home,” Christopherson said.