Mountain Fire 99 percent contained


The Mountain Fire was 99 percent contained today, two weeks after it broke out due to electrical equipment failure on private property northeast of Idyllwild.

Fire officials expected the 182 personnel still working the smoldering fire to fill in all of the gaps by Tuesday, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The fire has scorched 27,531 acres since it broke out July 15 and destroyed 23 structures, including seven residences. Fighting it has cost more than $25.6 million.

Incident commander Chris Fogle praised the work of firefighters and remained confident they would achieve 100 percent containment -- two previous projection dates have been pushed back -- by Tuesday.

All Forest Service campgrounds and day-use areas located along Highway 243, San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness -- and all hiking and mountain biking trails out of Hurkey Creek County Campground and the May Valley area -- remain closed.

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