Fresno crews rush from fire to fire putting out flames

High temperatures and several fires posed a challenge today for Fresno firefighters.

Crews went from fire to fire, stretching their resources.

Firefighters started with the call for one house fire, then moments later were called to another fire - that one turning into a second alarm fire, requiring more firefighters to help.

While they're still investigating the cause, fire officials say the heat poses a challenge not only to fighting the fire, but the wellbeing of their crew members.

"Any time you have a significant change in weather like we have this past week, is going to have a significant impact on firefighters," said Rich Cabral, Fresno Fire Deputy Chief.

Crews were called to their first fire around 4.30 near Tulare and Maple avenues.

Fire officials say it was likely started by someone working on their motorcycle.

Carlos Mata who lives next door says he's just lucky his son was nearby.

"My son told me the building was on fire so I came out. I'm blind. I can't see nothing so I go by what people tell me," Mata said.

As crews hosed down the charred debris, they received their second call just minutes later.

This time, a commercial fire near Fowler and Olive Avenues.

Firefighters say while smoke was a challenge, the recent high temperatures may have also played a part.

"Even though it's cooler today, when you put on turnouts, direct sunlight - the heat our firefighters are experiencing is well into the 100s," Cabral said.

In June alone, Fresno city fire officials say they've responded to 13 structure fires and 19 vegetation fires.

Cabral said fighting two fires within the hour was tough and as firefighters wear heavy gear and carry heavy equipment, it's an even bigger challenge during the summer months.

However, he said they're prepared to have other allied agencies come and help out.

During the warmer season when there's less humidity and higher temperatures, fire dangers increase, so they ask folks to do their part and be vigilant and take precautions - reducing fire hazards and creating a defensible space around your home.
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