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More grass fires igniting in Fresno County


We’ve seen first hand how grass fires can quickly get out of hand.

Six of them popped up just west of Highway 99, one after another, last Friday.  

Fresno County Fire says that it’s not believed any of them are linked but they serve as a great reminder as we enter into what could be a very busy fire season.

“Big flames, tall flames,” said Bryce Peterson.

Cell phone video captured the blaze that charred everything in it’s path. It was feet away from Peterson’s father’s car shop off Highway 99, north of Kingsburg.

“It was moving fast,” Peterson explained. “It wasn’t a slow fire. It was quick.”

The shop was spared Friday evening, but a local farmer’s beehives were destroyed along pieces of Peterson’s fence.

Fields of grass are now starting to dry out and turn brown. Fresno County Fire points out that this year’s abundance of rain means more dry grass and the potential for fires to start.

“Six fires in one day is unusually high,” said Battalion Chief Seth Brown. 

Several of those fires sparked along the highway. So far, Fresno County Fire investigators have identified the cause of two.

“Oily rags that were discarded from the back of a pickup truck,” Battalion Chief Brown explained.

Fresno County Fire says another cause of one of the fires on Friday was freshly cut grass clippings that were thrown out on the side of the road.

“In the right conditions, in the right humidity and with the sun out that can create heat in the moist grass pile and that can actually cause spontaneous combustion,” Battalion Chief Brown continued.

While the cause of the blaze outside Peterson’s Trucking is still under investigation, other common causes of fires along highways and roads include dragging chains or cigarettes thrown out the window.

Fresno County Fire recommends that you do all your yard work before 10 a.m. to prevent fire.

Also be sure to have 30 feet of defensible space around your home and buildings.

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