Fire crews continue to battle Smalley Fire in extreme heat, expect full containment Thursday


MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – After a night of evacuation orders, fire crews made significant progress with the Smalley Fire that was reported Monday afternoon south of North Fork and off of Road 222.

“The fires looking really good, it’s holding at 45 acres. We have containment lines all around it,” Cal Fire Battalion Chief Shaun Fairbanks said. “We’re just mopping up hot spots, the perimeter looks really good.”

The evacuation orders were downgraded to evacuation warnings on Tuesday morning and those evacuation warnings for Corrine Lake Road, Box Canyon Road, Tunoi Place and Road 222 between the county line and Corrine Lake Road were all lifted on Tuesday afternoon.

Cal Fire says one mobile home and two RVs were destroyed by the fire, but no injuries have been reported.

Fairbanks says fire crews are still mopping up hot spots and they expect full containment on Thursday.

“We have crews working throughout the day even with this heat,” Fairbanks said.

On top of the terrain and remote access, 100 personnel today are working in extreme heat temperatures.

“The crews out here are working a 24-hour shift. So we tell them to pace themselves, especially in this heat. Drink lots of water,” Fairbanks said.

Cal Fire says raining and physical fitness play a significant role in preparation.

41 counties in California are under a drought emergency – including all Central Valley counties.

Cal Fire says from January to May 31 of this year, they’ve seen an increase of 890 fires from where they were in 2020 at this time. There has also been an increase of more than 13,000 acres burned compared to where they were at last year during this time.

As it is only June, fire crews are expecting a challenging wildfire season – but Fairbanks said residents can do their part too.

“Folks with clearance around their homes helps us out a lot because then we have an anchoring point that we can go off of and stand ground,” Fairbanks said.

Cal Fire says the cause of the Smalley Fire is still under investigation. The latest information from the Smalley Fire can be found here.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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