Firefighters with the Cal Fire Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit responded to nine fires between 12:01 a.m. Monday and Wednesday afternoon, while multiple engines and crews from their unit are assigned to the out-of-control Ferguson Fire burning west of El Portal and Yosemite.
Fifteen engines, six crews, two bulldozers, multiple supervisors — about 120 total personnel — remained assigned Wednesday to the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit coverage area, which includes the west half of Tuolumne County, nearly all of Calaveras County, and parts of east Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.
Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit resources that have been assigned to the Ferguson Fire include six engines, four crews, two dozers and 12 supervisors -- for a total of about 90 personnel, Melinda Shoff with Cal Fire TCU in San Andreas said Wednesday afternoon.
As of Wednesday afternoon, a contingent of 1,850 personnel were assigned to the Ferguson Fire, which had burned more than 17,300 acres since it broke out Friday night. The blaze, which started next to Highway 140 west of El Portal, was estimated to be just 5 percent contained.
In Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, TCU personnel responded to four different fires before noon Wednesday, Shoff said in a summary.
+ The most recent fire was reported at 11:57 a.m. Wednesday near the 18000 block of Golden Oaks Drive and the 10000 Block of Campo Seco Road outside Jamestown. Five engines, one bulldozer and one crew of a dozen firefighters responded, as well as a helicopter crew. They declared the vegetation fire contained at 12:42 p.m. with three-tenths of one acre burned. No injuries were reported. The cause was being investigated.
+ At 9:04 a.m. Wednesday, a vegetation fire was reported near the 1900 block of Highway 12 and the 2300 block of Evans Road in Burson. One engine crew responded and they declared the fire contained at one-hundredth of an acre. No injuries were reported and the cause was being investigated.
+ Minutes earlier, at 8:46 a.m. Wednesday, a vegetation fire was reported in the 4000 block of Highway 12 at Pettinger Road in Burson, about three miles west of Evans Road. Thirteen engines, two crews of two dozen firefighters, one bulldozer, two water tank trucks, seven supervisors, a helicopter and multiple law enforcement officers responded. Personnel with Calaveras Consolidated Fire and Clements Fire assisted. The fire was declared contained at 10:26 a.m. with 16 acres burned. No injuries were reported. The cause was being investigated.
+ The first fire reported Wednesday was called out at 1:40 a.m. in the 17000 block of Highway 26 in Glencoe. Seven engines, two water tank trucks and two supervisors responded. Personnel from Central Calaveras Fire, Mokelumne Hill Fire and West Point Fire assisted. The fire was declared contained at 3:42 a.m. with about one-third of an acre burned. No injuries were reported. The cause was being investigated.
Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit personnel responded to two fires in their coverage area Tuesday and they both occurred before 3 a.m.
+ At 2:27 a.m. Tuesday, a vegetation fire was reported in the 300 block of South Old La Grange Road in La Grange, Stanislaus County. Four engines, two crews of about two dozen firefighters, and two supervisors, with Stanislaus County Fire assisting. The fire was declared contained at 3:30 a.m. with eight-tenths of one acre burned. No injuries were reported and the cause was being investigated.
+ At 12:40 a.m. Tuesday, a vehicle fire was reported in the 27000 block of Highway 132, about three miles west of La Grange in Stanislaus County. Two engine crews, including personnel with Stanislaus County Fire, responded and declared the fire out with the vehicle damaged and no acres burned. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was being investigated.
Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit personnel responded to three fires in their coverage area Monday.
+ At 4:30 p.m. Monday, a vehicle fire was reported at the Miners Mini Mart in Big Oak Flat on Highway 120. Four engines and personnel with the Forest Service and Tuolumne County Fire responded and declared the fire contained at 4:40 p.m. The vehicle was damaged and no acres burned. No injuries were reported. The cause of the vehicle fire was determined to be electrical.
+ At 2:30 p.m. Monday, a vegetation fire was reported near the 3000 block of Highway 26 and the 3000 block of Farris Drive in Rancho Calaveras. Three engines, one supervisor and personnel from Calaveras Consolidated Fire responded and declared the fire contained at 2:40 p.m. A 50-foot by 50-foot patch of vegetation burned. No injuries were reported. The cause of the vegetation fire was determined to be a vehicle.
+ At 1:27 a.m. Monday, a vegetation fire was reported at an unspecified location in Sonora. Five engines, one supervisor and personnel with Tuolumne County Fire responded and declared the fire contained at 2:54 a.m. About two-tenths of one acre burned. No injuries were reported. The cause was being investigated.
The Ferguson Fire was first reported at 9:36 p.m. Friday next to Highway 140 in the Merced River Canyon west of Yosemite National Park. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Ferguson Fire had burned more than 17,300 acres. The blaze threatens more than 100 homes.
A Cal Fire bulldozer operator died fighting the fire on Saturday. Two other firefighters have been injured.
The fire is burning in steep terrain on Sierra National Forest land with pockets of bark-beetle killed trees and heavy timber. Incident commanders are still investigating the cause of the fire, which started Friday night next to Highway 140. Cal Fire is investigating the death of 36-year-old Braden Varney, a heavy fire equipment operator with the Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit.
Contact Guy McCarthy at email@example.com or 588-4585. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.