Update: 3:28 p.m.: CAL Fire officials have determined that equipment use — specifically, a riding lawnmower — caused a 26.5-acre vegetation fire now being termed as the Hunt Fire. The blaze ignited in the 4800 block of Hunt Road near Copperopolis late this morning.
According to CAL Fire, a citation was issued to the property owner for violation of the Public Resources Codes, related to equipment use and allowing a fire to burn lands of another. The CAL Fire Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit is taking this opportunity to remind residents that fire danger remains at a high level.
If using equipment to create defensible space:
— Mow before 10 a.m.
— Remember that metal blades can strike rocks and ignite wildfires
— Mowers, including riding lawnmowers, are mostly designed for lawns, not for dry vegetation
— Exhaust pipe on many riding lawnmowers are located in the front, low on the frame where the hot exhaust system can come in contact with dry vegetation
— The top of a mower deck can become covered in dry vegetation, which may also come in contact with the mower’s machinery
— Have a shovel and fire extinguisher nearby where mowing is being done
Update 11:27 a.m.: CAL Fire officials initially reported a five to six-acre fire was contained. CAL Fire now states that it reached 26 acres before containment.
Original Post: Copperopolis, CA — CAL Fire reports a vegetation fire in the Copperopolis area.
Air and ground resources are responding. The fire is in the 4800 block of Hunt Road and five to six acres, according to CAL Fire spokesperson Lindy Shoff. One Columbia Air Attack, two tankers, the copter are included; as are seven engines, two battalion chiefs, two water tenders, a dozer and local resources. No structures are threatened and the fire is describes as at a slow to moderate rate of spread. We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.