COARSEGOLD – As the skies along Road 415 from Coarsegold became hazy, and the smell of smoke permeated the air, residents once again wondered “where’s the fire?”
At 1:31 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, the first of dozens of calls began coming in about a fire on Road 400 just south of Road 415.
Crews were dispatched to what was dubbed “The Lakes Fire,” and arrived at scene to find fire burning up a hill in dry grass and brush just north of Fresh Meadows Lane.
About 70 fire personnel worked in the 90+ degree temps, while CHP implemented traffic control as engines and dozers staged along the roadway.
At about 2:30 p.m., the road was closed to all traffic to allow firefighters to do their jobs in safety.
Cal Fire Engines #s 4254, 4255, 4262, 4275, 4285, 4294, and 4295 were call out, along with Madera County Fire Engines #8 and 10, Dozers #4242 and 4245, 2 Mount Bullion crews totaling 30 firefighters, 2 Water Tenders, and 2 air attack.
There was a pond behind the house on the property across the road from the fire, only about 300 feet off Road 400, and Cal Fire helicopter 404 out of Colombia and contract helicopter H-551 began a very impressive round of water drops.
About once a minute for nearly an hour, the two highly skilled pilots lowered water bladders into the small pond, ferried them back across the road and doused the fire.
Crews on the ground were busy cutting fire line, and had the blaze contained at 15 acres by 5:40 p.m. Both lanes of Road 400 were reopened shortly thereafter.
The fire was called controlled at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 2, according to Mariposa Command Center.
No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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