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Author Archives: gina clugston

Jet Ski Fatality Case Back In Bass Lake Court

BASS LAKE – The man charged with misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter in the death of David Flores, 13, of Fresno, who died after being run over by a jet ski at Bass Lake on June 27, was back in Bass Lake Superior Court today. Phat Chau, 55, of San Jose, appeared with his attorney Michael Idiart this morning, and after discovery ...

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Rain Assists Crews On 140,000 Acre Rough Fire

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – A bit of precipitation yesterday brought welcome relief from the heat, and helped to dampen down some of the fire behavior on the Rough Fire, now estimated at 139,133 with 40 percent containment. There are currently 3,741 personnel assigned to the incident. The foothill communities west of the fire saw clearing skies as the winds moved ...

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Diana Rankin Memorial

MADERA COUNTY – It is with great sadness that Sheriff Varney announces the passing of the Sheriff’s Office’s longest serving employee. Diana Rankin passed away at her home last Tuesday. She had been employed with the Sheriff’s Office since February of 1975 and had worked in a variety of capacities including a Jail Matron, Dispatcher, and for the last 15 ...

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Florine Completes His 100th Ascent Of The Nose Route Of El Cap

YOSEMITE – Hans Florine, world renowned rock climber, completed his 100th ascent of the Nose Route of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park on Saturday, Sept. 12. Florine, along with Jayme Moye, an adventure writer from Boulder, Colo., and Fiona Thornewell, an adventurer from London, England, finished the ascent on Saturday afternoon, after beginning the climb on Thursday, Sept. 10. ...

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Sundance Fire Suspected To Be Arson

OAKHURST – The Sundance Fire, that closed Road 420 and prompted the evacuation of dozens of homes in the area of Sundance Drive yesterday, is believed to have been started by two juveniles playing with spray cans and some form of ignition that torched off the surrounding vegetation, according to District Attorney David Linn. Linn and investigator David Engstrom of ...

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Fire Resources Called Out For Burn Pile

NORTH FORK – As if firefighters weren’t weary enough from this long summer of fires, they were called out this afternoon for reports of a smoke on House Ranch Road just off Road 200 between North Fork and O’Neals. It was a burn pile. Someone apparently decided that a few drops of rain had erased the danger of years of ...

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Drone Grounds Aircraft Battling Sundance Fire

OAKHURST – In the midst of a firefight along Road 420 this afternoon, while residents were evacuating, crews were cutting fireline, and tankers and helicopters were dropping water and retardant, two tankers were forced to return to Fresno with half their load undelivered, and three helicopters were grounded when someone decided to fly a drone over the Sundance Fire south ...

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Sundance Fire Closes Road 420, Prompts Evacuations

OAKHURST – A fire burning along Road 420 just off Highway 41 on the south side of Deadwood has prompted road closures and evacuations. Just after 3:30 p.m. today, several reports came in of a smoke just south of Road 420 at Sundance Drive, about 1/2 mile east of Highway 41. The first few engines on scene attacked the fire ...

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Red Cross Opens Shelter For Sundance Fire Evacuees

COARSEGOLD — The American Red Cross of the Central Valley is opening a shelter to assist residents affected by the Sundance Fire. The shelter is located at the Yosemite Lakes Community Church, 43840 Patrick Ave. in Yosemite Lakes Park. Red Cross volunteers will provide lodging, meals, hygiene kits and more for the evacuated families. “We started working with our government ...

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Rough Fire Nears 130,000 Acres, Smokey Conditions Persist

SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – The Rough Fire has now grown to 129,877 acres with 31 percent containment. The Fresno County Sheriff has issued an additional evacuation warning for the area along Hopewell Road north of Highway 180 and east to the Sequoia National Forest Boundary. The fire is now split into three zones: South Zone – managed by California IMT 4, ...

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