Elm Fire near Coalinga grows to 10,300 acres, 85 percent contained

All evacuations lifted and all roads have been opened.
COALINGA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Over 500 fire personnel assigned to the Elm Fire from units all over California are battling flames moving across thousands of acres of Fresno County.

"With the tall grass, rugged terrain, it's really steep, so the fire was able to grow pretty fast in a short amount of time," said Jeremiah Wittwer, Cal Fire PIO.

What started as a five to 10 acre fire on Thursday around 1:30 in the afternoon near Coalinga-- quickly grew to be the biggest fire in California this year.

"They're using dozers and aircraft, we have engines and hand crews assigned to the incident, working their way around the treacherous terrain," said Wittwer.

Cal Fire said they have not only been chasing the winds, but the areas the fire has been burning in are not easy to get to. So crews had to let it burn in some areas until they could make it through.

"It's steep, there are no roads in some of the access so our dozers are actually creating their own roads and allowing some of the engines to get into some of those areas," said Wittwer.

Firefighters said almost 20,000 more acres have burned this year, compared to this time last year.

"It's showing already, this summer-- it's going to be a little bit busier," said Wittwer.

Cal Fire said 15 to 20 structures have been threatened, but all evacuations have been lifted and all roads have been opened.
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