FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – On Saturday a wildland fire broke out in the San Joaquin River Conservancy near Friant and Willow in northeast Fresno and quickly consumed dozens of acres. Cal Fire responded and named the blaze the Vulcan Fire, and shut down Friant Rd. between the Sumner Peck Ranch Winery and Willow Ave. for several hours. The fire reached 125 acres and 20 percent containment by the end of the night.
According to Cal Fire battalion chief Roger Raines, the fire began around 5 p.m. on the west side of Friant Rd. but quickly jumped to the east side due to high winds. Raines said, however, firefighters gained the upper hand on the Vulcan Fire by about 8:00 p.m.
“We had some spots cross Friand Rd. that ended up getting aligned with the wind and with the terrain and ran for about 100 acres or so out towards Auberry Rd.”
The majority of this fire burned on private grazing land. The fire spread quickly causing a high wildland fire response to be called in, which included multiple aircraft and extra boots on the ground.
“We did have a very big potential of it running to Auberry Rd. and we did initiate a structure defense group out there with several engines, and luckily we did not need that,” Raines said.
Cal Fire’s efforts were initially focused on protecting ranch houses in the remote Reno Ave. area between Friant and Auberry.
“We did get some engines out there around some of the homes, and again no structure loss out there,” Raines said. “We were able to button that up pretty quick.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.