AHWAHNEE – Just as things were winding down at the North Fork Town Hall, where firefighters were honoring one of their own who passed away last week, they were called out to a vegetation fire on Road 600 near Road 810.
At about 3:50 p.m., reports came in of a smoke southwest of Ahwahnee. First engine on scene reported the fire at 3 – 5 acres, burning in grass with a moderate rate of spread. Access to the fire proved difficult for some of the large engines, so some firefighters had to hike in. They immediately began getting hose lays set as air tankers and helicopters arrived over the fire.
At 4:15 p.m., the incident commander requested more water tenders, as Air Attack directed incoming tankers to lay retardant along the head of the fire. After making their drops, tankers headed back to base in Fresno and Columbia to reload and wait to see if they would be needed again.
By 5 p.m., forward progress of the fire was stopped, and a dozer was cutting line around the perimeter. Air tankers were released from the incident.
A half-hour later, the fire was contained and crews were doing mop-up. The incident commander called the fire controlled at 8:19 p.m. The cause is under investigation.