Fire Season 2014: Wildfire, High Temperatures Test Firefighters - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Fire Season 2014: Wildfire, High Temperatures Test Firefighters Near Prather

The hottest day of 2014 has also been one very busy day for Fresno County Firefighters.

They responded to at least three wildfires, from Squaw Valley to Prather.

“This is the time of the year we try to prepare ourselves as much as we can,” says Cal Fire Battalion Chief Ryan Michaels.

Late Monday night, Highway 168 was re-opened after a 40-acre wildfire forced a closure near the town of Prather.

The Morgan Fire started around 3:00 p.m. near Morgan Canyon Road along Highway 168.

Charlie Scheppner says he was home when, “The lady next door … started screaming. I walked over there and it was down by their shop."

Nearly 100 firefighters were on site within hours—including forest service firefighters and federal inmates.

For some, it was their second fire of the day.

“When you're going from incident to incident we have to call in additional support because we know we're gonna rotate out. So that we don't injure ourselves,” says Michaels.

At one point, the flames jumped across Highway 168.

One stretch was closed for about two hours, another for eight.

Marty Dority was among the homeowners left waiting to be allowed on the road.

“It's dry as a bone. It's real dry. I just had a well that went bad,” Dority says.

"It's not if it happens, but when," says Scheppner, who points out he cleared defensible space around his home.

The fire, jumped right over.

His home, was spared.

Firefighters still don’t know how the fire started.

Three people suffered minor injuries in connection to the fire and were treated at the scene.

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