AUBERRY – Firefighters responded in the early morning hours to reports of a fire burning on Jose Basin Road near Auberry Mission Road.
At 2:15 a.m. on Tuesday, June 16, crews were dispatched to the Basin Fire, burning in dense vegetation and very steep terrain on Jose Basin Road near Auberry Mission Road, on the east side of the San Joaquin River canyon.
First engine on scene reported the fire was well established, however the 15 mph winds blowing back against the leading edge may have helped keep it from growing any larger than the 5 acres at which forward progress was stopped.
However, those winds also sent sparks and embers across Jose Basin Road, starting several spot fires which were lined and contained.
Access to the fire has been challenging due to the tremendous amount of vegetation.
With the coming of daylight, air tankers and helicopters were able to assist with the suppression efforts. Some 250 personnel were assigned to the incident early in the day, but as crews got a handle on the fire, many of those resources have been released, and demob will continue throughout the day. Extensive mopup work will be necessary in the thick brush.
The fire is now 50% contained. Jose Basin Road is closed in the fire area, though most residents are able to access their homes.
One strike team of engines from MMU (Madera-Mariposa-Merced) responded to assist Fresno-Kings Unit, along with two Mount Bullion crews and two dozers.
No injuries have been reported, though with the steep terrain and anticipated triple-digit temperatures, EMS has been standing by.
Cal Fire officials expect to have the road reopened by evening.