OAKHURST – A fire near Pro-Flame Propane on Oak Park Way sent smoke and flames into the skies over Oakhurst today.
The report came in at 10:40 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, of a vegetation fire just off Highway 49 behind the Enterprise Center.
It may have been strange to see the green Sierra National Forest engines in town, but when a full wildland fire dispatch is ordered, that includes two engines from the Sierra.
“We have a mutual aid agreement with the National Forest, so with the fire danger as high as it is, we will get those additional engines,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Chris Christopherson.
The initial report stated that there were two buildings threatened, but with the quick response and parking lots on either side, crews were able to keep any structures out of danger.
Some at the nearby businesses grabbed hoses that were on-site, and began dousing the fire, which quickly burned grass and brush, along with two California gray pines. Those trees made for some spectacular though short-lived torching.
One person at Pro-Flame hurried to take care of the emergency fuel shut-off, as the fire was burning very near several propane tanks.
Cal Fire Engines 4254, 4264, 4285, 4294 and 4295 responded, along Madera County Engine 12 and Water Tender 16, plus Sierra Engine E313 and Water Tender 1.
Some staged up above in the Enterprise Center where employees and customers stopped to watch the action.
The fire was called contained and controlled at 1:29 p.m., at about one-half acre.
The cause is under investigation, though Christopherson says natural causes have been excluded.
(Thanks to John-Mark Brix for the photos!)