Fresno Fire crews battle flames in truck yard amid extreme heat

Some challenges crews faced - scorching heat, heavy equipment, and a fire hydrant that was not working.

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ByNic Garcia via KFSN logo
Monday, September 5, 2022
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Nearly 50 firefighters were called to west central Fresno after a semi-truck caught fire, and the flames spread to four other trucks and trailers.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Nearly 50 firefighters battled flames at a truck yard in west central Fresno on Sunday afternoon.

The fire was sparked at about 3 pm in the area of Marks and Clinton on one of the hottest Labor Day weekends in Fresno's history.

Crews shut down Marks Avenue north of Clinton all the way to Princeton as they worked to extinguish the flames.

Fresno Fire officials said a semi-truck caught fire, and the flames quickly spread to four other trucks and trailers.

Thick, black clouds of smoke from the fire filled the skies and could be seen from miles away.

The fire was so intense that an ABC30 crew saw only twisted, charred remains of some of the trucks.

A challenge for crews - the nearest fire hydrant was not working.

"Somewhere in the system of the hydrant itself was broken. That is a challenge for firefighters in that we have multiple hydrants like that throughout the city but we don't know until we come out to a fire or inspect them," said Battalion Chief Tim Fulmer.

He said hydrants are checked throughout the year but anything can happen between inspections to cause them to stop working.

Thankfully, other hydrants nearby were able to provide water.

Crews were able to protect nearby apartments and commercial buildings.

Nearly four dozen firefighters were called to help battle the flames.

Fresno Fire said that's more than would normally be sent to a fire of this size because of the extreme heat.

"We try to get in front of that with rehabilitation, get them cycled in and out - get them cool," said Fulmer.

The scorching heat impacted firefighters even more because of their heavy equipment and close proximity to flames.

They're staying hydrated ahead of and during shifts especially over the next few days of triple-digit temperatures.

"These firefighters are drinking one to two gallons of water a day and they're taking supplements for electrolytes just to stay in their system because we don't know when we're going to have a fire like this," Fulmer said.

Thankfully nobody was injured in this fire.

Investigators are working to figure out how the fire started.