2014-01-09 / Front Page

Winter blaze singes east county

A slow-moving wildland fire consumed 5.5 acres just east of Ponderosa Basin on Sunday, firefighters report.

The Bald Rock Fire was expected to be completely extinguished by Monday afternoon, said Van Arroyo of Sierra National Forest. 

No structures were threatened and there were no injuries. The sight of a plume of smoke rising over the forest in mid-January rattled neighbors, however.

"It's highly unusual for this time of year," Arroyo said of the blaze. "Due to these unusually-dry conditions, we ask residents to use extreme caution when managing burn piles."

The fire started in Sierra National Forest on the morning of Sunday, Jan. 12. Crews from CALFIRE's Mt. Bullion camp, the Mariposa County Fire Department and Sierra National Forest worked together to contain the blaze by Sunday afternoon.

With winds low and the fire moving at a slow rate of speed, no air tankers were deployed to the blaze, Arroyo said. About 30 firefighters approached via Forest Service Road 4S04 to subdue the fire, he said.

Image: Mariposa County Sheriff's OfficeImage: Mariposa County Sheriff's Office

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Why is burning allowed now?

Why is burning allowed now? It is much too dry due to the lack of precipitation. I would think that under these drought conditions, brush-pile burning should be banned.

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