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Blaze Threatens Homes
Brief Evacuations
A Stanislaus Consolidated firefighter battles the blaze that crept up the hill in a backyard of a home on Scarlet Oak Drive. Richard Paloma/The Leader


Stanislaus Consolidated Fire crews had to call in additional agencies to assist with a pair of fires on Wednesday afternoon for a fast moving fire behind Scarlet Oak Drive east of the Oakdale Country Club threatening the upscale neighborhood.

According to SCFPD officials, the fire call, reported originally off Rodden Road near Gibbs Drive, came in around 1:08 p.m. The fire spread, jumping the Stanislaus River, causing crews to deal with two separate fires.

As the fire moved, it threatened the homes on Scarlet Oak Drive that backed to the hillside as flames raced up the hill. Firefighters tackled the blaze from backyards of the homes and at the bottom of the grade.

To battle the wildfire that consumed vegetation on both sides of the Stanislaus River, firefighters and equipment from throughout the county were deployed to assist in firefighting efforts. A Cal-Fire helicopter used a nearby pond to dump water on the threatened areas, making overhead drops both on the McLeod and Scarlet Oak areas.

Only one structure on Scarlet Oak Drive was damaged due to embers landing on the roof and getting into the attic. There have been no reported injuries.

Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies evacuated 10 to 15 houses on Scarlet Oak Drive that were closest to the river. Residents were allowed to return to their homes around 4 p.m.

According to SCFPD PIO Carissa Higginbotham, the size of the fire was estimated to have been approximately eight acres and it was brought under control with the assistance of crews on the ground and in the air from 11 different fire agencies including Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District, Cal-Fire, Ceres, Modesto, Burbank Paradise, Turlock, Salida, Denair, Keyes, Woodland, & Turlock Rural Fire Department. No one was injured in this incident.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation but is suspected to be electrical in nature when a piece of construction equipment made contact with a power line.