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Saturday, May 28, 2016

CA-MMU O’Neals vegetation fire, One home lost

One home lost in contained O’Neals vegetation fire

O’Neals vegetation fire

By Mark Evan Smith

A 10-15 acre fire on Road 211 near North Fork Road (Road 200) that possibly destroyed the home of an area schoolteacher was contained this afternoon, Cal Fire staff said.

What started as a 5-acre vegetation fire about 2 miles from Spring Valley Elementary School, first reported by Vanessa Sammons at about 2:50 p.m. in the 24000 block of Road 211 in O’Neals, quickly grew as engine crews, water tenders, and air attack moved in to fight the flames.

Sammons was not the owner of the house - she keeps cows on the land and was en route to check on them when she saw the smoke.

“I immediately turned around and dialed 911,” Sammons said. “We’ll see if the cows are okay.”

No injuries were reported.

A neighbor who rushed over to assist in the fire - and didn’t want to be named - said a teacher, possibly from Spring Valley, lived in the home.

Outbuildings and property such as bicycles, vehicles, and gardening equipment were consumed by the flames.

Cal Fire engines and water tender crews, with support from the air, worked to prevent the flames from jumping across Road 211. The fire was contained at about 4:15 p.m, with hours of scheduled mop-up operations.

Air attack crews over the area reported the fire to be about five acres around 3:15 p.m., but the blaze quickly gained strength before it was stopped.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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