Fire burning in Porterville keeps crews busy

June 14, 2013 12:44:28 AM PDT
Firefighters are still on scene of a brush fire spread mostly by the wind. That fire is burning in the area of Highway 190 and Highway 65 in Tulare County.

Fire officials say a car fire started a 15-acre river bottom fire in Porterville. Wind and dry conditions have been a problem for firefighters

Firefighters sprayed down brittle grass and other dry brush as they worked to contain a fire spurred mostly by the wind.

Battalion Chief Clay Smith said, "The wind was critical at this point we had the fire spotting ahead of itself up to 100 feet to 200 feet ahead starting additional fires ahead of the firefighters so it created a bit of a safety issues."

Fire officials say the wind caused the fire to jump from the Porterville city line to the Tulare County side of the river bottom. More than 30 firefighters tried to outsmart the wind and keep the fire from getting bigger.

At first, crews were concerned about a utility structure. It doesn't look like much, but officials say it helps provide critical cable lines to the Porterville airport.

Smith explained, "It had a suspension type bridge that carries communications cables and other important data lines that was threatened at one point in time and we were able to stop the fire before it reached that device."

Firefighters expect to be on scene throughout the night to put out any remaining hotspots.