Fires blacken Mother Lode

Union Democrat staff

Firefighters remained busy in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties Monday, fighting a series of blazes fed by warm, historically dry conditions.

Activity included a brief but intense firefight in the Rawhide Road area of Jamestown, where a vegetation fire threatened several homes, plus continuing efforts to extinguish the Oak and Reed fires in Calaveras County.

The smallest of the three fires started about 11 a.m. Monday in a residential area off Rawhide Road. The 1 acre fire threatened four homes.

Local fire engines and airborne firefighting resources from the Cal Fire Columbia Air Attack Base - including a helicopter and two retardant-dropping bombers - quickly responded.

Some neighborhood residents watched in awe while others briefly evacuated people and animals, bracing for the worst.

The fire burned within 5 feet of Jamie Murphy's house. She filed her dogs and several "foster dogs" to a neighbor's yard as an elderly neighbor was taken from her home by bystanders.

The cause was under investigation this morning, according to Cal Fire spokeswoman Lisa Williams.

For the full story, see the June 24, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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