COARSEGOLD – Today provided another testament to just how dry the conditions are in the mountain area, even though it’s mid-January.
A debris burn on Rock Creek Road, just off Road 416 south of Coarsegold, ignited more than just a brush pile this afternoon, burning about 1/4-acre before firefighters got it under control.
The call came in at about 3:23 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15, of a “control burn” that was now out of control. Two Cal Fire crews, who were involved in training exercises in Coarsegold, manned their engines and headed out to the fire, along with Engine #4.
A homeowner was burning standing brush, according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Chris Christopherson, when the burn got away from him. The person doing the burning had not prepared proper clearance and had no line around the fire and no method to control it should it get out of hand. Aside from that, says Christopherson, it was a no-burn day.
“We have zero tolerance for this type of thing,” says Christopherson. “There’s no excuse, especially when you’ve lived up here a while.” He says the homeowner will be receiving a bill for suppression costs.
With the drought conditions, fire danger is critical, even in the middle of the winter, says Christopherson. People need to be vigilant and make sure they have their 100′ clearance of defensible space.
The rate of spread of this blaze was fortunately in the firefighters’ favor, and they made quick work of the incident, calling it out at 5:35 p.m.
Residents are urged to use extreme caution when burning, and they can secure a burn permit at any fire station, free of charge. The permit contains all the necessary information for safe burning, including a phone number to call to see if it is a burn day.