Crews make ground on containing Power Fire, but challenges remain


The heat and terrain remain the biggest challenges in this fire

MADERA COUNTY, California (KSEE) — Fire crews made gains Sunday against the Power Fire, more than doubling containment and keeping growth small.

Cal Fire’s latest report shows containment is now at 50% and has now burned 108 acres. One home and an outbuilding has been destroyed and six firefighters are said to be injured.

Details on the extent of their injuries weren’t immediately available.

Jamie Williams, spokeswoman for the Cal Fire Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit, said crews have been aggressive in their approach.

“They did do an excellent job at making a very aggressive attack on this fire, both on the ground and in the air,” she said.

Helicopters were still dropping water on hotspots Sunday, as scorched ground and pink splotches of fire retardant showed the fire’s path.

Williams said the Power Fire has been particularly difficult to fight. The foothill terrain always poses a challenge, but the triple digit heat added another layer of difficult.

Light winds did help keep the fire under control, keep spread miminal.

As with every summer in the Central Valley, Williams said all crews are made sure to have at least and ice chest full of water on their engines. They’re also encouraged to cool off when they can.

“They are on a very strict exercise program, so they do physical fitness on a daily basis,” Williams said. “It helps them not only acclimate to the heat, but it also improves their physical conditioning.”

With the North Valley in a moderate drought, and as we get closer to peak fire season, Williams cautions people to be careful — saying it doesn’t take a lot for a fire to spark right now.

“We have some tall grasses [and being in moderate drought], both of those components together really help with the intensity and rate of spread of a fire,” she said.

All evacuations and most road closures have been lifted. Corrine Lake Road remains closed to the public, but residents can now drive on that road.

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