Fires are plaguing the southwestern region of Tuolumne County today.
Nearly a half dozen fires are burning in the areas of Cooperstown, the Red Hills and Lake Don Pedro. This large number has spread fire crews and resources very thin today.
The latest blaze is now reported off Bonds Flat and Highway 132 near the lake. It is now putting up a good amount of smoke in the region. Firefighters are now responding to this new fire. Deb Fish with Tuolumne County Fire said the fire is between 20-to-30 acres and is burning towards the lake. No homes are threatened.
A 20 acres blaze burning near J-59 and Cooperstown Road. That fire is surrounded by roads and the old burn and fire officials have that one contained.
Earlier a small grass fire broke out near Chinese Camp north of Red Hills near Avenida Lugo Road. That fire was estimated to be about 20 acres.
A fire continues to burn in the Red Hills area off J-59 and Old Don Pedro Road. That fire has burnt nearly 40 acres. Fire crews have this fire in check with a “shaky containment” according to Fish.
The largest was in Stanislaus County near Cooperstown east of Oakdale. That fire was pushed by gusty winds and had spread to more than 2,000 acres. That fire is now contained as well.
Tuolumne County Fire Marshal Kary Hubbard said from the scene of the Red Hills fire they were investigating the cause of the fires, but she believed they were all lightning down strike-caused. She anticipated more fires popping up this afternoon as the temperatures went up and humidity dropped.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries in the Red Hills fire.