Wildfire in western Fresno County fully contained, officials say

Kassandra Gutierrez Image
Friday, May 17, 2024
Fresno County fire burns 186 acres as Cal Fire urges people to create defensible space
A charred empty field sits on Highway 198 and Highway 33 in West Fresno County, where early Friday morning- flames engulfed the oilfield and burned nearly 200 acres.

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Firefighters have fully contained a wildfire that sparked early Friday morning in western Fresno County.

It broke out before 2 am at Highway 198 and Shell Avenue -- that's a few miles outside of Coalinga and near Interstate 5.

Containment reached 60% later in the morning and was fully contained by early afternoon.

CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Seth Brown helped fight the fire.

"At this point. We do not know what caused the fire yet. Our fire investigators are on scene speaking with a property manager and also looking and trying to figure out what happened overnight out there," said Chief Brown.

The agency says over 90% of fires are human-caused.

While Friday's fire didn't damage any structures, it's a good reminder to create a defensible space around your home.

"Clear the dry grass and dead vegetation from around your property, from around your structures, even if a fire should start nearby, not even on your property. If an ember should fly over land on your property. We want you to be safe as well," explained Chief Brown.

CAL FIRE has been inspecting homes since May 1 and will continue to do so in the coming weeks.

Structures should have at least 30 feet clearance and a total of 100 feet of reduced vegetation.

Property owners who don't could be fined, or even worse, they risk losing their homes in a fire.

"We've already had at least 2 fires in the last couple weeks, where a small grass fire started on a property, and that property owner did not have the proper clearance around the structure. We've already had significant loss to a barn and we've also had several vehicles burned and destroyed in a fire," explained Chief Brown.

CAL FIRE is also urging people to remain vigilant and aware while traveling.

Officials want to remind people to not pull over on tall grass as the heat from a vehicle could start a fire.

For more details on creating defensible space, click here.

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