MADERA COUNTY – U.S. Forest Service – Sierra National Forest personnel along with other federal agencies invested their time this Mother’s Day weekend fighting wildland fire on the Sierra National Forest.
Over 180 inter-agency personnel responded to the Chiquito Fire, located north of Beasore Creek and approximately three miles off of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway.
Bass Lake Ranger District responded with both ground and air assets, including multiple engines and water tenders. Four Interagency Hot Shot Crews were dispatched – Sierra IHC, Kings River IHC, Fulton IHC and Rio Bravo IHC.
The Sierra Interagency Hot Shot Crew was first on scene.
Fighting the fire from the air were two Type-1 Helitankers, one Type-2 Helicopter and two Air Attacks.
The fire is now twenty-five percent contained at 40 acres. Full containment is expected by May 14.
Cause of ignition is unknown and currently under investigation.
Smoke from the Chiquito Fire was first called in by a commercial flight and reported on Saturday, May 11, by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Chiquito Incident Commander Charlotte Jordan has her firefighters dealing with steep, rocky terrain and hazardous conditions, including lots of dangerous snags, which are standing dead trees.
Although it is early in the year, given the right conditions a wildfire can result. Visitors should exercise caution with campfires and homeowners should be sure to keep the area surrounding their home clear of dry fuels.
State law mandates property owners residing within the State Responsibility Area take proactive measures to protect their property from wildfire, such as keeping a 100 ft. clearance between buildings and flammable materials (ex. brush, vegetation).
The SNF is currently ramping up for the 2013 fire season, hiring personnel and getting ground and air assets in place. Limited resources are available on forest for initial attack on wildland fires.
For more information, please contact one of our Forest Service offices: Bass Lake Ranger District (559) 877-2218, or Clovis (559) 297-0706.