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Fire On Highway 41 Near Broken Bit Put Out By Locals

COARSEGOLD — Just before 4 p.m. today firefighters were called out to Highway 41 near Serpa Canyon, and by the time they arrived on scene minutes later, the flames had been doused by local travelers.

At 3:57 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to a grass fire just starting on Highway 41 across from the Broken Bit.

Meanwhile, Jessica and John Frabotta were traveling south on Highway 41. Many know John Frabotta as Chef at Ducey’s on Bass Lake. Suddenly, off to the side in Coarsegold, they noticed flames picking up.

“We were driving by and saw the very small fire on the side of the road,” Jessica explains. “We turned around and parked and ran over to try to put the fire out. Burning on the east side of the road, it had quadrupled in size. Some individuals driving by had fire extinguishers and some had brooms. People were running up with whatever water they had in their cars to help.”

By the time Cal Fire arrived on scene at 4:11 p.m., the fire was out, Jessica says, thanks to these citizen responders who quashed the flames before they reached a line of dead trees.

She didn’t catch their names, but the several people who stopped to help were much appreciated.

“The firefighters were thanking them for their quick actions. Cal Fire did an amazing job, too, they are awesome. They are all heroes.

Jessica and other witnesses she talked to surmised the fire was started by a cigarette, due to its proximity to the road, but the cause is unknown.

Before being diverted by fire, Jessica and John were on their way to purchase car supplies.

Jessica wants to stress to everyone the importance of having items in your car including a fire extinguisher, shovel, broom or water.

“Having a fire extinguisher is crucial to putting out a small fires the minute you see one. You never realize the importance of having these things so readily available in your car until you need it. Everyone working together so quickly really saved the day.”
Photos by Jessica Frabotta

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Sierra News Online

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