Man arrested in connection to a fire burning near Pine Flat Lake

One man has been arrested for reckless burning that started an early morning wildfire that fire crews continue to battle.
January 25, 2014 3:05:46 PM PST
One man has been arrested for reckless burning that started an early morning wildfire Saturday. The fire started around 6:30 a.m. Saturday near Trimmer Springs Road and Sunnyslope Road close to Pine Flat Lake.

Fresno County jail officials say Cal Fire arrested a man around 1 p.m. Officials say the suspect is 35-year-old Artemio Rosas. He is being held on a reckless burning charge.

Fire fighters are working to contain the Lake Fire. The fire is 75 percent contained but and is not threatening any homes.

Pine Flat Lake became part of the fire fight as helicopters used its waters to douse the fire from the air. On the ground bulldozers and fire crews tirelessly cleared brush and debris to create a perimeter around the fire. Homes and structures stood hundreds of yards away from the fires reach.

"The threat was eminent, luckily the weather held in our favor, we were able to get enough crews out there and eliminate that threat," Ryan Michaels with Cal Fire said.

Fire fighters never issued an evacuation order to any of the homes, but residents like Michael Muntz say it was too close for comfort. Muntz has lived near the lake for the past 15 years. On Saturday his thoughts were his livelihood, his convenience store, his campgrounds, and his home.

"We were kind of concerned, we know how dry conditions are and so we pulled out some fire hoses and fire extinguishers to be on the safe side," Muntz said.

Fire fighters say the Lake Fire is a sign of the fire season ahead.

"For January, in our area-it is a concern that we're getting this kind of fire behavior this early," Michaels said. "We have to be ready for another fire at any point and Cal Fire in general has increased their staffing up and down the state."

Crews expect to get complete containment on the fire Saturday night. They expect to remain on scene until Sunday morning.


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