Vandenberg Air Force Base Fire’s Advance Halted

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE (AP) — Crews have increased containment while halting the growth of a wildfire burning in remote, rugged land at a central California military base.

The blaze at Vandenberg Air Force Base is 70 percent contained and officials say they’re hopeful that number will go up Thursday.

The fire that broke out in a remote canyon over the weekend is holding steady at about 19 square miles.

There is no word of any threatened structures on the sprawling base, much of which is undeveloped.

The cause is under investigation.

A firefighter died Wednesday and another was hurt when the water truck they were in overturned on a highway outside the city of Lompoc, miles from the fire lines.

Ventura County firefighter Ryan Osler was killed, and Adam Price was injured. There were no other occupants in the truck.

The California Highway Patrol was investigating the cause of the crash.

Officials said the fire did not pose an immediate threat to the base’s launch complex that fires satellites into space.

Vandenberg encompasses nearly 156 square miles (405 sq. kilometers) along the Pacific Ocean. A wind-whipped fire in 1977 killed the base commander, the base fire chief, an assistant chief and a bulldozer operator.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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