Downed power line sparks forest fire just outside Ely

Homes were evacuated on the southern edge of Ely, while crews are battled a 20-acre fire. Several fire departments were on the scene, using water-bombing planes and helicopters as well as ground crews. A downed power line apparently sparked the fire.
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Homes were evacuated on the southern edge of Ely, while crews are battled a 20-acre fire. Several fire departments were on the scene, using water-bombing planes and helicopters as well as ground crews. A downed power line apparently sparked the fire.

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Fire crews and a wind switch combined to beat back a raging forest 216-acre fire Thursday that burned to the edge of popular tourist town Ely. Some nervous residents were briefly evacuated, but no injuries were reported and officials say no occupied homes were lost.

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The wildfire sparked by a downed power line near Ely is 60 percent contained. Officials say emergency preparedness and a quick response was the key to the fire's containment. The blaze was reported at 1:40 p.m. Thursday, about 10 minutes after it started, and the first engine arrived three minutes later.

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