NORTH FORK — Near-hurricane force winds blew through North Fork and surrounding areas Sunday morning.
The fierce wind gusts, estimated to be as strong as 70 to 75 miles per hour, downed power lines, uprooted trees and caused “all kinds of chaos,” according to one first responder.
Fallen tree limbs — and in some cases entire trees — blocked a number of local roads.
And a downed power line sparked a 1/2-acre vegetation fire mid-morning at a property along Road 274 at Gentle Way, just one of many incidents Madera County Sheriff’s deputies and local firefighters responded to throughout the morning as the Mono wind gusts buffeted the area.
A number of area residents reported temporary power outages and PG&E later confirmed as many as 4,000 customers briefly lost power.
Adding to the chaos: At one point Sunday morning, a panicked horse was reported to be running loose down the middle of Road 225.
The National Weather Service in Hanford has issued a high wind advisory for the mountain area through Monday night.