Wind-whipped flames quickly scorched 65 acres of Fresno County land. The fire began moving across the grass and up onto the side of Tivy Mountain just after 6 p.m.
"Luckily with our air support, with our air tankers we were able to hold it in the saddle at about 65 acres," said Cal Fire Unit Chief Mark Johnson.
Three-hundred firefighters responded to the scene. Many of them quickly worked to protect a home surrounded by the fire. Chief Johnson says their actions -- and proper defensible space -- saved the property. "And that's what we're asking people in the county to do -- make sure they have their clearances around their homes so we have a fighting chance of saving them in the event of a fire," he said.
Two air tankers dropped retardant on the fire, while two helicopters used water. Flames burned through thick, dry or dead brush. Extreme drought conditions are putting firefighters on alert, as we head into the weekend with temperatures expected near triple digits.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but nothing so far appears suspicious. Cal Fire crews will be out there through the weekend, making sure hot spots don't flare up.