They expected them before they saw them- residential, brush, commercial blazes. Fresno firefighters battled a number of them this Independence Day.
The calls to battle started early this morning. One of the blazes happened at a yard on East Tulare Street. Fire crews say the man who started it was actually trying to prevent a fire by cutting down the grass.
“Unfortunately for him, he bumped into a power pole which caused those two lines to arc together and therefore causing the fire inadvertently,” said Fresno Fire Captain Oscar Betancourt.
Fortunately, fire crews were able to get to quickly extinguish it, despite some road blocks. Betancourt explained, “Potentially we could have lost at least 3 homes. The grass is so dry and of course we had a bit of wind.”
Of course, that was just the beginning for firefighters. Their next stops- back to back blazes, not too far from each other.
“We were working a brush fire on the west side of Highway 41 when we got alerted by CHP that we had a structure fire in the east side of Highway 41,” explained Fresno Fire Captain Daniel Mendoza.
Investigators believe this fire started on top of the roof.
The calls kept coming and fire crews kept fighting. A plume of smoke from a brush fire just off Highway 99 was seen from miles away. The blaze was small by brush fire standards, but fire crews didn't take it lightly. Rakes and hoses in hand, crews continued to work into the night. By around 9:30 p.m., fire crews split up to fight five different blazes across the city.
Fresno firefighters say some of the blazes were caused by illegal fireworks, but they didn't confirm which ones. Some of the fires are still under investigation.
Extra fire crews were scheduled to work throughout the day to help handle the large amount of fires.