COARSEGOLD – Firefighters started a very busy day on Father’s Day with a call at about 1:30 p.m. to yet another vegetation fire on Road 400 just north of Yosemite Springs Parkway.
The fire was burning on the east side of the road in dry grass and brush, and consumed about half an acre before crews had it contained.
As that fire was being dealt with, the call came in for a fire near Midpines off Carstens Road.Many of our local engines were dispatched, as other personnel moved in to cover stations around the area, and Madera County Volunteer Fire Departments manned their stations.
The fire near Jerseydale/Midpines is over 1,000 acres, and is burning in heavy brush on Sierra National Forest land.
At 7:50 p.m. on Sunday, June 16, Cal Fire initiated an evacuation order for residents living on Hites Cove Road, Mariposa Pines and Jerseydale area.
Road closures were put in place at Carter, Jerseydale and Buckingham Mountain Road to all eastbound traffic. Click here for full information on Carstens Fire evacuations and services for residents.
Meanwhile, back near Coarsegold, another fire in Yosemite Lakes Park was reported on John Muir Drive just below Lilley Mountain Drive at about 3:30 p.m.
Lucy Cliby and her husband Mike Richardson had been on their way to have lunch earlier at the Fairway Cafe when they drove by the fire on Road 400. They then stopped in at the hardware store, and were on their way home via John Muir Drive, when they saw a fire burning next to the road at the address of 42115. They raced up the driveway, only to discover that no one was at home but 4 or 5 dogs.
Mike grabbed a hose that was already attached to the house, and Lucy went for another section of hose. They began dousing the fire which was burning near the propane tank at the end of the driveway.
Then a bull pine next to the road caught fire, and they began hosing it down just as the first firefighters began arriving on scene.
“It is a good thing these people cleared their defensible space,” said Lucy. “We’ve spent hundreds of dollars on our acreage, weedeating around the house and clearing the property. Plus we have cattle that keep things eaten down. We’ve done everything humanly possible to protect our home.”
Lucy says it’s extremely scary as a long-time resident to have all these fire keeping everyone on edge. They got to watch this one for quite a while, as their truck was blocked in the driveway of the home by Cal Fire engines.
The next dispatch of the day came at 6:17 p.m. for a fire burning near Highways 41 and 145. The smoke from that fire could be seen from miles around.
Dubbed the “Rolling Fire,” it started east of Highway 41, on the north side of Highway 145. The fire then jumped the road, and burned onto the south side, consuming 950 acres including a hay barn and two hay stacks.
As of 12:20 a.m., Monday June 17, the fire was 40% contained, but forward progress had been stopped, according to Mariposa Command Center. Some 75 firefighters battled the blaze, along with air tankers and helicopters.
No injuries were reported. Highway 145 remained closed east of Highway 41 as of 2 a.m. Monday.
Crews were next dispatched to a fire on Highway 41 north of Yosemite Springs Parkway at 8:16 p.m. It was reportedly a house fire, and the highway was closed in both directions for about an hour so engines could stage, causing huge backups for motorists on their way home from the Park and Father’s Day events.