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Cooler temps help knock down fire near Jackson

JACKSON (WNE) — Cooler temperatures and firefighters working through the night combined to knock down the Swinging Bridge Fire within hours of flaring up and sweeping over 102 acres.

Smoke wisped up from the remnants of root systems within the blackened fire scar Monday, but open flames were nowhere to be seen on the once sagebrush-studded hillsides about 8 miles south of Jackson.

“All of our control lines held today,” Dave Wilkins, the fire’s incident commander, said atop the Game Creek bench Monday afternoon. “The crews have been really successful utilizing hose lays, engines and [water] tenders.”

Much of the work that remained was “mopping up” — dousing smoldering vegetation that remained, one smoke at a time. The percentage of fire considered contained had not been declared by late Monday, but prospects were good that most of the perimeter would hold.

Hundreds of residents of the Game, Squaw and Porcupine creek subdivisions received word at 9 a.m. Monday morning that they could return home after being displaced for the night. Most residents returned to power, following a period when Lower Valley Energy cut electricity to diminish the hazard of wildfire burning through areas with live power lines.

At the peak of the firefight late Sunday, a dozen engines, fifty-plus firefighters and five aircraft attacked the Swinging Bridge Fire. The cause remained under investigation as of Monday evening.