NORTH FORK – Firefighters responded to a fire on Road 222 near Corrine Lake Road south of North Fork at about 10:40 a.m. this morning. They quickly handled that fire, and were immediately diverted to another vegetation fire on Road 200 near the bottom of Walker Grade, about 8 miles west of North Fork.
A witness stated that he saw a white Chevy 4-door, possible a Lumina, parked in the middle of the westbound lane and a man out of the vehicle. He said when the man saw him, he jumped in his car and drove off westbound.
The witness, a driver for Outback Materials, said he thought it was weird the guy was stopped in the middle of the road, until he came to the place the car was parked and saw a fire burning alongside the road.
The fire started on the south side of Road 200, but spread to the north side, prompting the closure of the roadway in both directions between Quail Creek and Church Ranch Road.
Fire resources from the Road 222 fire were quickly diverted to the new start on Road 200, and then reports began to come in of another fire on Highway 41 near Road 208, and one on Road 200 near Road 211.
Air attack, tankers, and helicopters were over the “Gold Fire” about 20 minutes after it was reported. Acreage was last estimated at 7-10 acres. The fire was contained at 12:40 p.m. Road 200 opened to one-way traffic at about 2:30 p.m., and was cleared completely just after 6 p.m..
There were also fires this morning on the Fresno side of the San Joaquin River. The Road 222 fire was spotted by an engine returning from a dispatch to assist Fresno Kings Unit with those fires. Crews also searched for a fire reported on Road 221, but were unable to locate.