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Area Blanketed With Smoke From Lakes Fire

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.

Firefighter in the smoke on Lakes Fire - photo by Gina Clugston

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.

Traffic jam on Road 400 at Lakes Fire - photo by Gina Clugston

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.

Helicopters H-551 and Cal Fire 404 - photo by Gina ClugstonThere 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 hitting the hot spots on the Lakes Fire - photo by Gina ClugstonCrews 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.

Please click on these photos to open them in Water sprays as helicopter loads photo by Gina Clugstona light box for all the detail.Engine 4295 and Cal Fire helicopter - photo by Gina ClugstonWater drop - photo by Gina ClugstonInvestigator searches for point of ignition - photo by Gina ClugstonTwo helicopters over Engine 10 - photo by Gina ClugstonPlanes over Lakes Fire - photo by Gina ClugstonHelicopters tag teaming over the pond - Photo by Gina ClugstonHelicopter 404 in the trees at the pondEngines along Road 400 at Lakes Fire - photo by Gina ClugstonContract helicopter H-551 - photo by Gina ClugstonBurning hillside on Lakes Fire - photo by Gina ClugstonCal Fire helicopter 404

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