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Forward Progress Of Marin County Coast Wildfire Stopped

STINSON BEACH (CBS SF) -- The forward progress of a wildfire that erupted late Thursday morning along the Marin County coastline in between Stinson Beach and Muir Beach has been stopped, according to authorities.

The Marin County Fire Department said the Muir Fire was near Slide Ranch and that offshore winds in the area were pushing the flames toward the ocean.

"Mother Nature did us a favor today," said Marin Co. Senior Fire Captain Ben Ghizletta.  "The fire was backing into the wind, so the wind actually helped keep the fire from advancing."

The first call on the fire came in at around 10:45 a.m. The fire had grown to 40 acres less than an hour later.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m., Marin Fire said that forward progress on the fire had been stopped.

At 3:40 p.m., the fire had grown to 58 acres and containment was increased to 20 percent. Firefighters were trying to control the fire in difficult conditions with the temperature in the area at 90 degrees with only seven percent relative humidity and strong winds.

No structures were threatened and no evacuations were ordered, according to Marin Fire. The response to the fire included approximately 165 aerial and ground personnel, including two air tankers and a helicopter.

Highway 1 remains closed near Muir Woods Road and drivers are expected to expect delays in the area

With the winds blowing from land out to sea, once the fire hit the coast, it had nowhere else to go.  But the resort town of Stinson Beach is less than two miles up the road from the fire area, nestled between the ocean and steep wooded hills. Residents say it was unnerving to see the firefighters roll through town.

"My house is up there with all the trees around it and the winds started blowing in the middle of the night," said Robin Marshall.  "And you get…you get very…you get on high alert."

"We're just nestled in here with not, you know…I mean the resources came quickly, but we don't have a ton of resources," said resident Zoe Feher.

"Yeah, it's a great barrier…the Pacific Ocean," said Capt. Ghizletta.  "Pretty good fire break? Absolutely."

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