COARSEGOLD — Firefighters made very good progress overnight on the Serpa Fire, burning just east of Highway 41 north of Coarsegold.
The fire is holding at 80 acres with 50 percent containment. Crews continue to work hot spots, strengthen firelines and do mop-up.
There are currently 26 engines, 5 dozers and 6 water tenders working the fire. Helicopters are operating out of a helibase at the Chukchansi Casino.
After last evening’s concerns as the fire backed its way down the ridge toward homes in the Mattie Fhy area, reports this morning are that all those homes have all been saved, thanks to the diligent work of firefighters and heavy dousing by aircraft.
Motorists are advised that equipment still continues to move to and from and within the fire area. Please be aware and give them a wide berth and clear access to do their jobs.
All evacuations have been lifted for this fire as of 9 a.m. Friday, and residents have now been allowed to return home to both the Road 420 neighborhoods and all roads south of that area.
Residents of Cavin Lane and Mattie Fhy areas are required to show ID to re-enter, and Road 420 is now open to the public.
Though people are allowed to return to their homes, the danger of falling trees remains of great concern, and everyone is advised that firefighting equipment is still moving and working throughout the area.
The Red Cross Shelter at the YLP Church and the large animal shelter at the rodeo grounds in Coarsegold are being closed.
No homes were lost in the Serpa Fire, though dozens were threatened. One firefighter injury has been reported.
The Serpa Fire was reported just before 1 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, burning on the Veater Ranch. This is the second fire in the past month on the ranch; a fire on July 4 burned 103 acres and required 150 firefighters to put it out.
The cause of the Serpa Fire is under investigation.