In Madera County, firefighters mopped up a small wildfire Tuesday. Just six acres burned, but it struck in an area where residents continue to recover from the devastating and frightening Junction Fire, which took place last week in the mountain community of Oakhurst.
Around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, the so-called Pines Fire ignited along the shore of Bass Lake on a small stretch of Malum Ridge Road, also known as Road 274.
“It gets ugly really fast and with the drought conditions we’re experiencing we really want to contain these fires as quick as possible,” said Van Arroyo of the U.S. Forest Service.
That’s exactly what firefighters did, containing the fire in less than three hours. Bass Lake proved to be a precious resource.
“We utilized three helicopters, water dipping helicopters dipped in bass lake and dropped on the fire as well as air tankers to stop the fire’s spread,” said Arroyo.
Just last week in the neighboring town of Oakhurst, residents watched the Junction Fire wreak havoc on their community. It destroyed 47 structures and charred 612 acres.
More than 1,500 mandatory evacuation notices were issued during this one.
However on Tuesday, only two precautionary evacuation notices were sent out; specifically to folks living on Fawn Point Lane. Dorothy Miller got the call.
“This is the first time. We’ve been here 14 years and we’ve never had any problem before. Very scary,” said Dorothy Miller, a homeowner.
Dorothy says she and her husband actually packed up last week just in case the Junction Fire came their way.
“So this time we knew what to do. It’s a good thing to have a rehearsal like that,” said Miller.
The Millers are now able to rest peacefully in their home thanks to the magnificent efforts of firefighters.
“I can’t say enough good things about them. They are so valuable and do such a good job,” said Miller.
Investigators are still trying to figure what caused the fire.