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WILDFIRE CHARS ACREAGE, DAMPENS HOLIDAY BUSINESS

Fire crews Sunday smothered scattered flare-ups left by a wildfire that charred 63,000 acres in the San Bernardino Mountains and cut deeply into Labor Day weekend business in this alpine resort.

The so-called Willow fire started Aug. 28 near Lake Arrowhead. Fire lines weren't completed around the blaze until late Saturday.

Officials hoped to have "every spark within 400 feet of the fire lines" out by today, said Steve Jennison, an information officer with the Washington state Department of Natural Resources, one of the 2,700 firefighters who traveled from across the country to help battle the fire.

It was one of seven California wildfires that burned more than 130,000 acres of forest and desert land. Six other significant wildfires in Montana, Utah and Idaho were contained last week.

No flames ever reached the town of Big Bear Lake, but the threat led many would-be vacationers to cancel their trips.

"It's sad because this is a totally tourist-driven town," said Linda Goldsmith, of Goldsmith Ski & Snowboard Rental. "This is an important weekend for this valley."

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