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12 homes evacuated as fire west of Coalinga continues to burn

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The mineral fire is burning eight miles west of the small town and it has Highway 198 closed in both directions. (KFSN)

A wildland fire near Coalinga continues to grow. The mineral fire is burning eight miles west of the small town and it has Highway 198 closed in both directions.

The fire has burned 800 acres and is so far 10-percent contained.

After the sunset on Tuesday, the glow of the Mineral Fire gave us a better perspective of how much land is burning near Coalinga. Norm Hartley has been watching it since Monday night-- the night it started.

"And it just looked like there was just fire everywhere through there and shooting up probably, 30, 40 feet in the air or higher."

Hartley's home is safe but his neighbors can't say the same. Many of them have been evacuated-- according to Cal Fire, 12 homes in total. But the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said people refused to leave.

"We're worried about 'em, you know. We're worried about ourselves," said Hartley.

"If someone's there to help you get out, get out, we're concerned about your safety and we want to make sure you and your family is safe as well as your pets," said Stacey Nolan, Cal Fire.

To keep people safe a 21 mile stretch of the 198 was shut down from the edge of town all the way down to the Monterey County line.

Also, four Air tankers and three helicopters were called in-- along with hundreds of firefighters. Cal Fire said the wind helped the fire grow and the terrain has made the fight difficult.

"It's way back country so it's really steep, and the dozers-- there's even areas that dozers, it's hard for them to get into," said Nolan.

Hartley said the fire has him on edge. He said this is the fifth fire in five weeks-- he believes this one sparked up near an abandoned ranch and destroyed a home on the property. A tweet from a man who said the ranch belonged to his grandparents tells the same story-- but firefighters have yet to confirm it.

You can expect it to be closed at least through the night. Cal Fire is expected to update the numbers around six Wednesday morning.

Related Topics:
wildfirefirefresno countyCoalingaFresno County
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