Old Wards Ferry fire

July 06, 2003 11:00 pm

About 15 acres off Old Wards Ferry Road at Murphy Road burned in a fire that started about 3:15 Saturday afternoon. Damage was estimated at $30,000 to oak woodland, grass and brush. A few homes were threatened, but none was damaged by flames. The cause of the fire — contained by 6 p.m. — is undetermined. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Tuolumne County Fire Department, Tuolumne Fire Protection District and Sonora City Fire Department responded. That fire was just one of 29 reported in CDF's Tuolumne-Calaveras unit during the weekend, said Battalion Chief Richard Imlach. Only seven of the fires were caused by fireworks, but they accounted for 159 of the 217 acres that burned in both counties. "It was a busy weekend," Imlach said. "The fifth was actually the crazy day. It was just fire after fire, starting in the morning and going all through the night." Imlach said fireworks activity was quiet in Tuolumne County — where fireworks are illegal — but CDF officials had problems with explosives around Tulloch Reservoir. "It looked like a fireworks display at one point," Imlach said. "We're very concerned about that. Next year, we plan to beef up our presence there."