A vegetation fire sparked by a vehicle less than a half mile north from the Chevron gas station at Highway 41 and Road 417 was rapidly contained thanks to a quick response by firefighters, law enforcement, and area residents who jumped in to help Wednesday afternoon.
On Thursday, Cal Fire investigators said a vehicle caused the blaze, though exact details were not released. In previous years, dragging chains, mechanical issues such as lowered fenders, and throwing lit cigarettes out windows have sparked fires in the Mountain Area.
The fire, reported around 2:40 p.m. and named the Chevron Incident, grew to an estimated two acres along the western end of the highway before it was contained. One-way traffic controls were implemented on the highway by the California Highway Patrol, and were lifted around 7 p.m.
Several fire engines, a dozer and water tender were called out to the scene.
The fire occurred between Old Corral Road and the Chevron gasoline station.
Jaime Williams, PIO for Cal Fire, was returning from a meeting in Tulare when she heard the initial report of the fire. Heading north on Highway 41, on her way home, she gave an account of what she saw as she drove by the area.
“There’s a lot of smoke, and several fire engines are in the southbound lane. The fire is on the west side of the highway, just north of the Chevron station. Traffic is backed up a half-mile or so, and it looks like firefighters have a good handle on it,” Williams said.
By 3:10 p.m., several fire crews were canceled. No injuries were reported, and no structures were damaged.
Williams said the crews were quick to respond and “were right on top of it.”