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Firefighters douse two blazes; no homes lost



Firefighters Wednesday extinguished both Calaveras County fires that together burned more than 300 acres on Tuesday.

The Willow Fire, which consumed about 300 acres off Mountain Ranch Road near San Andreas, was controlled Wednesday evening at 6, said Annette Roessler, spokeswoman for California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in San Andreas.

Suppression cost totaled over $412,000. Dollar damage has not been determined.

Allen Ackhart of San Andreas was cited for negligently causing a fire and burning the lands of another, Roessler said. Ackhart's riding lawn mower started the fire while he was cutting his lawn. His fine will be determined in court.

At the Valley Fire, which burned 12 acres off Valley View Drive in Avery, damage estimates totaled about $4,800 in lost timber and vegetation, Roessler said. Firefighting crews controlled it at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Someone smoking caused the fire, which remains under investigation. The suppression cost has not yet been determined.

Cooler weather is expected for the weekend, with warm days returning next week.

A slight chance of showers is forecast for the high country. (See separate story.)

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