Madera Grass Fire Burns 3,000 Acres

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Fire at the corner of Hwy 41 and 145 06&#47;10&#47;2008, 5 pm (Ryoichi Morita)</span></div>
June 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Investigators say a malfunctioning vehicle is to blame for a grass fire that burned over 3,000 acres Tuesday in Madera County. About 180 firefighters battled the fast-moving grass fire in Madera County. A wind driven fire burned more than 3,000 acres in Madera County.

The fire, which started at Highways 41 and 145, raced across the dry grassland. At one point it threatened homes in "Sumner Hill Estates," near the San Joaquin River.

Fire officials claim the fire was sparked by a car driving northbound.

Investigators said it took 190 firefighters to take down the fire because winds quickly spread the flames. "Within just the first units arriving on scene 200 to 300 acres had burned already," said Don Stein with Cal Fire.

Four air tankers battled the blaze from above. Several upscale homes in the area were threatened for a short time but damages were limited to grape vineyards exposed to heavy smoke.