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Fire Burns in Madera County, Sparing Homes

The biggest grass fire of the season yet started at the hottest part of the day.
The battle is on from the air and on the ground.

CBS 47’s Lemor Abrams has a look at the biggest of three fires crews have been battling to control.

The biggest grass fire of the season yet started at the hottest part of the day.

Ben Dunn was having lunch... when he saw smoke.

“It burned about 200 acres. A lot of equipment up here. A lot of bulldozers, tractors, firefighters up and down the mountain…” said Dunn.

Crews from Cal Fire and Madera-Mariposa Counties fought it from the ground and air.

Dunn's home wasn't threatened, unlike years past.

“Probably every year you'll have a fire close by. We've had one almost every year in the neighborhood. I’ve had my property burned twice,” said Dunn. 

He owns 120 acres and maintains it well.

In fact he's been riding the lawn mower and weed eating the last week preparing for an extra dry season. 

“We try to protect ourselves. If we don't your insurance could go up- you could get a ticket from the fire dept.,” said Dunn. 

People living in the foothills began paying a fire fee last year. 

About $115 a year for every rancher.

Firefighters remind folks, defensible space saves lives and homes.  

“Making sure you have water shovels equipment  to handle spark if you have and don't hesitate to call 911,” said Battalion Chief Glenda Leonard with the Madera-Mariposa Unit. 

After living in the ranch town of Oneal's for a couple decades, Dunn knows a wildfire when he sees one... And he happened to be the first to call this one in.

“I knew I didn't have a threat because the wind blew away from where I live I didn't worry about it very much at all,” said Dunn.


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Fresno, CA

  • High: 83°F
  • Low: 54°F
  • Sunrise: 6:11 AM PDT
  • Sunset: 7:42 PM PDT
  • Feels Like: 56°F
  • Wind Chill: 56°F
  • Visibility: 10 mi.
  • Dew Point: 43°
  • Relative Humidity: 62%