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Wildland Fire Threatened Homes
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As firefighters use the hose to put out lingering hot spots at the top of the hill, equipment and charred ground are visible below, during the 20-acre wildland fire on Sunday. - photo by Marg Jackson/The Leader
A 21-year-old woman suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital after she attempted to extinguish the flames threatening her home as a 20-acre wild land fire between Liberini Avenue and River Road burned trees and grass Sunday, July 12.
The fire broke out around 1 p.m. in an open field that quickly razed the tall, dry grass and large trees, heading toward a cluster of homes situated at the top of the hill, along Jackson Road off River.
Firefighters from throughout Stanislaus County responded to the fire with assistance from firefighters in San Joaquin County and Cal-FIRE. Over 120 firefighters from 14 different fire agencies responded to the fire, which was contained within three hours yet continued to smolder through Monday, requiring crews from Oakdale Rural Fire Protection District to remain for mop-up. Cal-FIRE also assisted with a fire helicopter and two inmate hand crews. Several homes were threatened, but firefighter’s quick response prevented any damage to the homes in the fire’s path.
“There were probably 10 homes that were immediately threatened,” Rob Hoyer, deputy fire chief for ORFD said of the blaze. “It burned right up to the backyards of some.”
The fire, requiring the largest commitment of resources so far this year, is still under investigation but an arson investigator from Modesto City Fire has been assigned to the case.
“The efforts of the firefighters definitely contributed to the minimizing of property loss and not losing any structures,” Hoyer said, praising the fire agencies that responded to the blaze. “The fire had the potential of jumping the river if it had reached the river bottom and then that would’ve created problems on both sides.”