Thick smoke from fire burning along Hwy 41 created hazard for drivers

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Heavy smoke and flames along Highway 41 brought traffic to a standstill Thursday. A stretch of dry grass, between Shields and McKinely, was on fire and threatening homes. (KFSN)

Heavy smoke and flames along Highway 41 brought traffic to a standstill Thursday. A stretch of dry grass, between Shields and McKinely, was on fire and threatening homes.

From a distance, a #abc30insider captured the scale of what was burning-- dry grass, tall brush, and trees on a mile long stretch.

Fresno Police followed firefighters in and shut down several onramps which created a huge traffic jam from McKinley to Herndon. Captain Pete Martinez said it had to be done.

"So we are concerned, not only about vehicle traffic along the 41 but also traffic along the surface streets."

Martinez said homes were in danger and the highway wasn't safe.

"That fire started creeping down along the shoulder of the road, down to some of the alleyways that led to some of the residential areas."

At first, firefighters thought a home did catch on fire but realized it hasn't. But Martinez said it was a close call.

"At this point, there's no structures involved, no reported injuries. The cause is still under investigation."

After the fire was out traffic was still slow for a bit but as the smoke cleared, so did the congestion.

Many residents are worried about the weeds along the highway-- which clearly burn quickly.
Related Topics:
newsfirefresnobrush firetraffic delayFresno - Central
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