Hills Fire in Fresno County was caused by lightning strike, CAL FIRE says

The blaze has consumed 1,900 acres and is 45% contained.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Hills Fire burning in Western Fresno County was caused by a lightning strike, CAL FIRE officials said on Friday.

The blaze is burning in the area of Highway 33 and Sutter Avenue, south of Coalinga. It has consumed 1,900 acres and is 45% contained.

CAL FIRE said firefighters were gaining some control of the wildfire.

The fire sparked last Saturday. CAL FIRE crews say extreme temperatures and steep terrain have hindered efforts to fully contain the blaze.

A helicopter pilot from Southern California, Michael Fournier, 52, died while dropping water during the firefight on Wednesday.

The veteran pilot was employed by Guardian helicopter which had a "call when needed" contract with CAL FIRE.

RELATED: Pilot killed while battling Fresno County fire remembered as a hero
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Family members described 52-year-old Michael Fournier as a man who made it a point to put others before himself, something his firefighting efforts can attest to.

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