A vegetation fire — named the 41 Incident — along Highway 41, just south of 425C in Coarsegold burned about an acre, early Tuesday afternoon, March 18.
CHP Sergeant Shaun Hoover called the fire in when, after pulling a vehicle over traveling along Highway 41, he turned to the right and noticed the smoke.
“This should not happen in March,” Cal Fire Ahwahnee 4214 Battalion Chief Troy Cheek said. “Imagine what it’s going to be like in July and August.”
Although Cal Fire said the cause of the fire is under investigation, according to one neighbor David Bolger, “The property owner, Dennis, passed away and someone has been doing some property clearing. I was not home at the time, but my wife told me it was a control burn that got out of control — now that may be hearsay.”
“The fire burned very hot and embers coming off the vegetation ignited the trees,” Cal Fire Prevention Specialist Karen Guillemin said. “It’s very dry out there, so everyone must be extremely careful under these drought conditions.”
Two Cal Fire engines, one Cal Fire hand crew, two Madera County engines and two Madera County water tenders responded to the fire.