FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – According to CAL FIRE, illegal fireworks caused the Sky Fire on Sky Harbor and El Lado roads near Millerton Lake Monday night. Per their last update, it has burned 26 acres and it’s 40% contained.
“As far as illegal fireworks go, if you are caught with them, that is a felony,” said Stacey Nolan, a fire prevention specialist with CAL FIRE. “It could have been really worse. It’s all the right conditions, the weather, we’ve got hot, hot, hot temperatures.”
For resident Brian Fennell, it was a sleepless night.
“You’re not thinking about anything you can save except for your family,” Fennell said.
He said he and his family were getting ready to go to bed when his neighbor knocked on the door.
“Opened up the door, she said there’s a fire, looked over this way, pretty much this direction here, and I saw big flume of smoke with a bright orange glow,” Fennell said.
Nolan said while safe and sane fireworks could be allowed in Fresno County, that’s not the case in state-responsible areas.
“What we call the SRA, the state responsible area, like shaver lake area, is those areas are a no firework zone. State responsible area is no fireworks,” Nolan said.
On Tuesday morning, fire crews continued on the ground working to completely extinguish the fire while a helicopter helped with water drops.
As Fourth of July creeps closer, the fire highlighted the potential for the devastation fireworks could ignite.
“We didn’t actually evacuate but we were this close,” Fennell said.
The fire is also the second one near Millerton Lake in just the last two weeks, and the early fire season is forcing residents to think about their exit routes and evacuation plans.
“That’s two in pretty much two weeks or less than two weeks. And now it’s more prevalent in our head,” Fennell said.