Mountain Fire: Riverside Co. fire is 92 percent contained

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The fight against the nearly encircled Mountain Fire was winding down today, with command of the blaze due to be handed over to Riverside personnel this morning and full containment expected on Friday, the U.S Forest Service said.

The blaze was 92 percent contained as Thursday, having burned 27,531 acres of the San Bernardino National Forest. The fire started near Idyllwild July 15.

The U.S. Forest Service said the cost of fighting the fire is $24.3 million so far.

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"Crews are continuing to mop up and patrol, scout and construct direct line and suppression repair. Backhaul of trash and excess equipment continues, demobilization of resources is ongoing," according to a Forest Service statement.

At one point there were more than 3,300 firefighters working the Mountain Fire. That number is now 379, as mop up operations continue. 

The blaze has claimed 23 structures, including seven homes, but no major injuries have been reported. 

The cause remains under investigation but last week the U.S. Forest Service said the fire was "human-caused."

The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which closed a week ago due to fire-generated smoke, reopened Tuesday. The nearby Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area, several campgrounds, Humber Park and Pacific Crest Trail and its connecting trails remain closed.

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