Evacuation orders and warnings in place as fires burn in Fresno County

Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Evacuation warnings in place as fires burn in Fresno County
Fire crews are working to gain ground on the Flash-Complex Fire burning in Eastern Fresno county.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fire crews are working to gain ground on the Fresno June Lightning Complex Fire burning in Eastern Fresno county.

It now encompasses three large fires, the Bolt, Flash and Hog fires, as well as several smaller ones.

The Hog Fire started on Tuesday, but the Bolt Fire near Wonder Valley Ranch and Flash Fire near Cove Road started after multiple lighting strikes the day before.

In total, the Fresno June Lightning Complex has burned almost 3,000 acres since it was sparked by lightning on Monday.


The Fresno County Sheriff's Office has issued evacuation warnings for Clark Valley, Harmon Peak, and Tretten Canyon due to the fires.

Evacuation orders have been issued for areas near Kings Canyon road, Hwy 180 and Mills Creek.


The American Red Cross Central Valley has opened an evacuation shelter at Reedley College for those impacted by the Flash Complex Fire.

Volunteers will be providing evacuees with water, snacks, and additional resources.


In addition to the fire, crews are fighting just to get to the flames.

Fresno County CAL FIRE says that the wind is posing a threat to getting the fire contained.

The Flash Complex Fire is also impacting businesses in the area.

RELATED: How to prepare for a wildfire evacuation

"We're dealing with deep terrain, obviously hot and dry conditions, and battling the wind, so we're mainly focusing on reinforcing the lines, and making sure that nothing rolls out, and we don't get any established fires outside of our containment lines," said Battalion Chief Andy Cosentino.

Crews have come in from Ventura County to help with the fire fight.

Fresno County Supervisor Board Chairman Nathan Magsig says even though there are no structures threatened, the Flash Fire is burning near cattle lands with sheep and other animals.

"So, it's important for us to, really get a handle on these fires as they burn. Not let them get out of control, even though a lot of these fires right now are burning and grazing areas, you don't want them to move into communities and then destroy homes," said Magsig.

For Dunlap resident, Dale Anderson, the Flash Fire has impacted his business.

"Since 2 o'clock yesterday, the powers been out, fires up here are always a scary thing," said Anderson, the owner of Project Survival Cat Haven.

Anderson's main main priority is ensuring the big cats stay healthy and hydrated as the flames continue to burn alongside the high heat.

"We have some generators yeah, but this has been out for 24 hours, it's hard to run generators for that long," explained Anderson.

"In the meantime, we discontinue while while we're doing, feeding the cats, making sure they are cool."

Dale Halderman saw the smoke from the Fresno June Lightning Complex come over the hillside on Monday afternoon.

He watched as the activity from the fire grew into the night.

"When it got dark, it was lit up like a Christmas tree," said Halderman. "It was amazing and you could see the flames and that was kind of eerie."

Just down the road from Halderman's home, the Wonder Valley Ranch Resort and Conference Center was hunkering down.

"They started a backfire last night, which went up and put it out on our side last night" said Roy Oaken with Wonder Valley Ranch and Resort. "We could see that it wasn't going to come down the mountain any further."

The ranch said there are about 450 people, including kids and staff, sheltering-in-place.

While there was no damage to the property from the fire, the ranch has a contingency plan in place in case they need to evacuate.

"We have enough transportation to move everybody off property into Sanger or Reedley at a church that were going to take us in," said Oaken.

The smoke from the Fresno June Lightning Complex hung over the area on Tuesday morning, hampering camp activities.

"We're encouraging a lot of the kids to take off camp activities," said Oaken "We have trips that go out to different areas off property and that will open up more indoor space here."

For news updates, follow Ana Torrea on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates, follow Brianna Willis on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.