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A brush fire in the Sierra National Forest exploded Saturday, consuming more than 36,000 acres and threatening numerous mountain communities.

The fast-moving fire cut off evacuation routes, trapping people near Mammoth Pool Reservoir, Sierra National Forest spokesman Dan Tune said.

He could not provide the number of people trapped near the popular recreation site or confirm reports that they were advised to jump into the reservoir if necessary. But he said people have been advised to shelter in place while strike teams of engines and hand crews race to the area to battle the flames.

The blaze is still 0% contained. Tune said firefighting resources — “as much as we can spare” — are being redeployed to the area.

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