By Mike Harris
Publisher and Editor
An early morning brushfire in Valley of Enchantment was kept to less than an acre after a quick multi-agency response.
According to reports, around 9:45 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, County Fire received a report of light smoke showing toward the area around Old Mill Road. A County Fire unit responded and found a vegetation fire burning in the forest between Old Mill and the intersection of Brookside Road and Valley Road.
A Cal Fire helicopter was dispatched and confirmed the brush fire. Units from Cal Fire, the U.S. Forest Service and County Fire began laying hose lines and a hand crew from Pilot Rock Conservation Camp was dispatched to begin creating a fire line.
The Forest Service fire response included two teams from the Groveland Hotshots, based at the Stanislaus National Forest.
A neighbor said he thought the fire started around
Hermando Marino, who has lived in the neighborhood for 42 years, said the situation would have been very different if the fire had started the day before.
“Thank God today the wind isn’t blowing or we would be in serious trouble. We would not be standing here talking,” he said. “I can’t wait for that rain to get here.”
By 10:45 a.m., the incident commander, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Brandon Lanning, said the fire had stopped forward progress and that it was under control. Mop-up operations then took a few hours more.