Fire gets dangerously close to Coarsegold homes

FRESNO, Calif.

And with temperatures rising, the fire threat is just beginning.

The fire started just after 11 a.m. Saturday near Rd. 415 and Rancho De Fruta in Coarsegold.

Extra resources were called out because of all the dry brush. And fire officials say with temperatures now heating up, they expect this to be a very busy summer.

This plane was one of two tankers dropping flame retardant above a 30 acre brush fire just outside Coarsegold Saturday.

A pair of helicopters was also called in to control the fire.

As were dozens of firefighters from several different agencies.

Battalion Chief Lisa Anderson said, "We all of a sudden have a week that's really hot so we still have a bunch of dead fuel and that's what does gonna fuel the fire."

Fire officials say the blaze was sparked by a weed eater behind this home.

Helen Smith's daughter lives at the house.

Smith, who lives just down the hill, watched nervously as the fire continued to grow.

"I was concerned with her, but since she called and said her house was ok, then I wasn't concerned," Helen Smith said.

The fire threatened more than one structure.

And, while no evacuations were ordered, nearby residents like Suki Hersh prepared to leave, just in case.

"I'm ready. I've got my truck hooked up to move my horse trailer, I've got my friend lined up to move my other three horses, I have five, she has ten plus horses and two fulls here so she has everybody on standby ready to get horses moved," Suki Hersh said.

Fortunately, by early afternoon, fire crews had a pretty good handle on the blaze.

Still, they say, it could have been prevented.

They warn, with an unseasonably wet winter and spring, homeowners need to be particularly cautious leading into this summer season.

"This should have been done, the weed eating in May, but they couldn't do it in May because it was still wet. So, it's a hit and miss, but the biggest thing is that homeowners need to be careful, and they need to have water standing by and be prepared in case they do get a spark to cause a fire."

Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

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