YOSEMITE LAKES PARK – If the firefighters weren’t weary enough of calls to fires in YLP, the residents certainly were. They lined the streets in groups, some in lawn chairs, some of roof tops, watching and photographing the latest suppression efforts in a string of fires that has plagued the area for weeks on end.
The most recent had been on Monday night, so when the Revis Circle East location cracked over the radio airwaves, it was like deja vu all over again.At 2:55 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, the dispatch came for a vegetation fire on Yosemite Springs Parkway. The fire was burning along the road just west of the new bridge about 1/2 mile off Highway 41.
While CHP, Citizens on Patrol and YLP Security put traffic control in place, crews worked to contain a 6-acre blaze along the roadway. They had the fire contained by 3:38 p.m. and were working on mop-up operations when yet another fire was called in just before 5 p.m., at the same location on Revis Circle East that has been the scene of four incidents in the past month.
Once again, the road closures on Revis Road were put in place, and once again crews scrambled to get engines in place and attack yet another fire behind homes in the cul-de-sac.
The smoke from this most recent incident could be seen for miles along Highway 41, and from all over the subdivision. We even received a photo of the smoke rising as residents enjoyed a refreshing dip in the YLP swimming pool.
Roads were clogged with fire engines rushing to stage at designated areas, and residents hurrying home to check their property, pets and livestock. Attack planes and helicopters circled in the skies above, and firefighters marched up the steep and rocky terrain to cut fire lines and establish hose lays.
The fire quickly grew to about 60 acres as it raced up Revis Mountain into the YLP Recreation Area, and threatened to endanger homes on N. Dome Drive on the other side.
Planes out of Fresno and Columbia dropped retardant, and Helicopter N28HJ made repeated water drops from a pond across Revis Road. There was even help from Mariposa County when a Water Tender from Fish Camp arrived to assist in the efforts.
Cal Fire engines, Madera County Engines and Water Tenders, inmate crews from Mount Bullion and Sierra Hot Shot crews responded to the scene, some having just been released from the incident on Yosemite Springs Parkway.
Cal Fire spokesperson Karen Guilleman estimates that about 150 personnel were on scene last night, and heavy mop-up efforts were underway. The fire was burning in heavy brush, with lots of trees torching in the interior of the burn. The forward progress of the fire was stopped at about 6:45 p.m., and air attack was released.
The Madera County Support Unit set up shop on Revis Circle East to provide the firefighters with food, water and restroom facilities. One Revis Circle East resident who has suffered through all these scares over the past month even showed up with food, delivered to the Support Unit, and meant for the crews working so hard to protect homes and property.
People were out along the roads, shouting their thanks to firefighters as they drove by, and Fresno TV stations were scrambling for the best location to get a shot of supression efforts on what has become a regional story.
As of 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Cal Fire reported that the fire was 60% contained. Crews will be working though the night and all day on Thursday.
No structures were lost to the Revis Fire, and no injuries have been reported. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
For the very latest updates, everyone is invited to attend when Cal Fire officials hold a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the YLP Clubhouse to discuss the fire situation and address concerns from residents.
Once again, everyone is encouraged to be observant, note suspicious persons or vehicles in your neighborhood, and Be A Good Witness. If you see someone who does not belong or raises your suspicions, note their height and weight, clothing, physical description, vehicle make and model, license plate number, time of day, and direction of travel. All this information will assist investigators in the event of a fire of suspicious origin.
The public is encouraged to call the CAL FIRE Arson Hotline, 1-800-468-4408, if suspicious activity is observed. Details, such as a description of suspicious people and vehicles are very helpful to investigators.
Rewards of up to $10,000 are available for information leading to an arrest and conviction of persons responsible for committing the crime of arson within State jurisdiction.