Early fire season has sparked concern with Fresno fire officials

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Rising temperatures are prompting fears about fire danger in the Central Valley. (KFSN)

Rising temperatures are prompting fears about fire danger in the Central Valley. Tuesday, a brush fire in West Central Fresno burned 20 acres and threatened at least a dozen homes after flames were accidentally sparked by the property owner while using this trimmer mower to clear tall weeds and vegetation.

Drone video sent to us from a #abc30insider showed just how fast and wide spread the damage was.

"It doesn't take much to get the dried out grass going. Last year we responded to 621 incidents and this year we've already at 87, so is it happening quicker this year? Yes it is," said Hector Vasquez, Fresno Fire.

That is why officials said it is so important to maintain your property this time of year by creating defensible space, or a buffer zone, between any structure and overgrown grass and trees.

Tuesday's fire could have been avoided had the property owner followed the city's weed abatement program by the May 1st deadline.

"The dangers of dead grass, you might as well have gas lying around because that stuff goes really fast," said Nicholas Chavez, Fresno.

Chavez is lucky to still have a home, but Tuesday's fast moving fire destroyed just about everything else on his property.

"My pump got burnt, I have no water now, a wife and two-year-old, and a baby on the way and we have no water-- it's very devastating."

Just down the road Jim Spikes was one of several home owners to suffer damage to his backyard fence because of the brush fire.

"Nobody had done weed abatement on that for a long time, maybe not since last year but they hadn't done it this year," said Spikes. "The weed abatement-- if they don't do their job this is what happens."

Fire officials said the biggest tip this time of year is to know your surroundings and pay attention to what you're doing. If you live out in the country or have to plow a large field, try to do it in the early morning or when it is not hot out, because any sort of spark can start a fire.

Related Topics:
brush firefresnofresno countyFresno
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