With fireworks as the possible cause, multiple units from Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District responded to a fire under the bridge along North Yosemite Avenue just north of the Oakdale city limits on Sunday night.
According to fire officials, the call came in about 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23 and was reported as a vegetation fire under the bridge.
Units responding to the scene included Brush 28, Brush 27, Grass 30, Engine 26, Brush 23, Water Tender 27 and Water Tender 23, along with Battalion Chief Bussell.
Stanislaus Consolidated Deputy Public Information Officer Carissa Higginbotham said the fire had the potential to be much worse.
“The fire was burning in heavy vegetation and consuming ladder fuels that were emitting a significant amount of ember carrying across the river,” she explained. “Total area burned was only about a quarter- to half- an acre.”
Oakdale Police Department also responded to the scene, assisting with traffic control as the bridge had to be shut down while the firefighting effort was underway.
Witnesses also reported hearing a loud explosion possibly from a large firework just prior to the start of the fire and there were unconfirmed reports of subjects throwing something off the bridge as well.
Southbound traffic headed into Oakdale along Highway 120 was detoured at the River/Rodden Road intersection while the northbound traffic was diverted into the parking lot at the shopping center on the south side of the bridge.
The fire was on the north side of the bridge and crews had to access it via driveways of nearby homes, working to extinguish the blaze and put out any hot spots before the roadway could be opened back up again later Sunday night.
Officials said there was no structural damage and no injuries reported in the incident.