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UPDATE: Madera County's 'French Fire' Grows To Over 8,000 Acres

Jul 28, 2014

The French Fire as seen on Monday July 28, 2014.
Credit US Forest Service

UPDATE: 6:41 PM 8/1/14
The French Fire has continued to grow and now is over 8,000 acres, and just 15 percent contained. On Friday afternoon authorities issued an expanded evacuation order for residents in the community of Arnold Meadow.

Twelve campground have been closed due to the fire, which continues to send smoke into mountain communities and the valley. 

From InciWeb:

An anchor point has been established on the south end of the fire in the San Joaquin River drainage. A combination of hand and dozer line has been constructed from the river up the flank to the 4S81 Road. A firing operation, supported by rotary wing aircraft, will continue today to secure the bottom perimeter of the fire in Division B. This anchor point and burnout operation is the highest incident priority in order to provide for the defense of structures at the Hogue ranch and in the Kinsman Flat area. Crews and dozers will continue constructing direct fire line from the 4S81 Road to the west and continuing north of the 7S07 Road. The fire continues to back down toward the Windy Pt Boat Launch at the Mammoth Pool Reservoir.

French Fire Map: (as of 7/31/14)

UPDATE: 10:19 AM 7/31/14
Authorities report the French Fire grew over Wednesday night to 7,000 acres, but is now 10 percent contained. Over 1,000 firefighters are working to battle the blaze. 

The northern edge of the fire is continuing to approach Mammoth Pool Reservoir, while on the eastern side, crews are working to stop the blaze at the San Joaquin River. 

Fire crews will continue constructing direct fire lines from Forest Road 4S81 to the west and turned the corner heading north past Forest Road 7S07.  The fire is being held on the east flank and has not crossed the San Joaquin River. On the northern end of the fire continues to back down towards the Windy Point Boat Launch at the Mammoth Pools. 

UPDATE: 11:00 AM 7/30/14  
The French Fire has now grown to over 5,600 acres and is still at zero containment. 34 structures are currently threatened by the blaze.

UPDATE: 11:00 AM 7/29/14
The French Fire grew to over 2,000 acres overnight as firefighters battled steep terrain in the area between the Rock Creek and Fish Creek campgrounds in the Sierra National Forest. Officials say the fire is not yet contained.

A total of 28 structures are threatened by the fire. Crews are attempting to use established control lines from last year's Aspen Fire to halt the French Fire's spread. Officials expect evening breezes to bring smoke from the fire into foothill communities and the valley floor. 

Minarets Road remains closed between Ross Cabin and Grizzly Road. The Fish, Rock and Soda Campgrounds have all been closed. 



A 1,000 acre wildfire is burning today in the Sierra National Forest below Mammoth Pool Reservoir in Madera County. The French Fire was discovered this morning in steep terrain near the San Joaquin River.  

Authorities have evacuated the Fish Creek and Rock Creek campgrounds and residents are being advised to avoid using Minarets Road out of North Fork. The cause of the fire is unknown.

According to officials with the Sierra National Forest, the fire has resulted in smoke and ash in the air in the communities of Tollhouse, Auberry and Prather.

The French Fire is burning in an area near last year’s Aspen Fire, which destroyed nearly 23,000 acres across the San Joaquin River in Fresno County. 

Updates on the French Fire from InciWeb: