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Station Fire 94% Contained as Santa Ana Winds Begin

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Forest Service officials this morning upped containment of the Station Fire one point to 94 percent after a weekend of aggressive air attacks meant to pre-empt the coming Red Flag fire weather of hotter temperatures, lower humidity and increased winds. A Red Flag will go into effect at midnight through Wednesday evening.

Although winds are expected to gust up to 35 mph, officials say they will be "weak to light" Santa Ana winds, which are dry and warm or hot winds that blow in from the desert.

Firefighters will continue air assaults today, lasting over the next few days, with fixed-wing air tankers and heavy helitankers to knockdown hot spots and pretreat ridges with retardant.

The arson-caused blaze, which began on Wednesday, August 26, has burned through about 250 square miles of the Angeles National Forest. Around 80 structures have been destroyed and two firefighters were killed. Full containment is still listed as midnight tonight, but that is likely to be extended.

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Good note: Forest Service officials clearly define the difference between contained and controlled in a press release today: "When referring to a fire, the difference between a fire being contained or controlled can be unclear. When a fire is contained a fuel break has been completed around the fire manually by hand line, and/or mechanically by dozer line. When a fire is controlled, it has been extinguished completely, including hot spots."