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“Our first priority is human life, the life of our firefighters and the people who are on the line, as well as the public ...”

U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Matt Zumstein on the the Tamarack Fire in Eastern California.

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    • On July 4th, a single tree started a fire due to being struck by lightning in Alpine County, CA.
    • Forest Service officials decided to monitor the fire, but due to terrible weather conditions on Friday, the fire rapidly grew.
    • As of Wednesday morning, the fire covered an estimated 40,000 acres leaving hundreds displaced due to evacuations.

    **Big Picture: **The Tamarack Fire is one of more than 80 major wildfires burning all over the west, impacting air quality nationwide.

    Keep up with the latest Tamarack Fire updates here or here.

    P.S. Here’s more of what U.S. Forest Service District Ranger Zumstein said in a live briefing Tuesday evening:

    Our first priority is human life, the life of our firefighters and the people who are on the line, as well as the public. Our second priority is property. We understand that people have been evacuated … We’re doing everything we can to protect those resources … and make sure … that they’re there for you when it’s safe … Third is the infrastructure that supports those communities …