Wildfire in Fresno County now 75% contained, crews continue to battle hotspots

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A wildfire in Fresno County that prompted evacuation warnings and led to two firefighters being injured on Wednesday is now 75% contained.

The House Fire sparked near Tollhouse and Pittman Roads at about 12:30 pm.

It spread to more than 170 acres of brushland, threatening structures and power lines.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office issued evacuation warnings for some residents in the area, asking them to prepare to leave quickly should the blaze spread out of control.

But crews were able to get a handle on the fire, as they attacked the flames from the air and on the ground. After working through the night, CAL FIRE announced on Thursday morning that crews had reached 60% containment.

A day shift of firefighters will continue working Thursday, mopping up hotspots until 100% containment is achieved.

On Wednesday, two firefighters were injured after a boulder struck them - one, a US Forest Service firefighter, had to be airlifted to the hospital. The other, a firefighter from CAL FIRE, was taken by ground ambulance with a shoulder injury. Both are expected to be ok.

From the sky, two of CAL FIRE's new Sikorsky FireHawk helicopters aggressively attacked the flames.

"That's some of CAL FIRE's newest air resources," says CAL FIRE/Fresno County Fire Assistant Chief Ryan Michaels. "They're faster, carry more capabilities for water-dropping and that was instrumental in helping us contain the fire."

They can hold 1,000 gallons of water - that's three times the amount a regular fire helicopter can drop.
Fueling the fire, grass, trees and the steep terrain posed a challenge for firefighters.

But cool temperatures brought some relief by evening.

"The weather will be in our favor, so we're hopeful firefighters can continue to battle, gain the upper hand through the night and then tomorrow, hopefully, we're just eliminating hot spots," Michaels said.

Still - fire crews aren't taking anything for granted.

"It just takes one ember falling across that containment line and we're off to the races again," Michaels said.

If you want to find out if your home is affected, you can enter your address in this map provided the sheriff's office.
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