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Thursday Grass Fire Torches Eight Acres

A wind-whipped grass fire that started small quickly grew to a multi-alarm blaze on Thursday afternoon, Aug. 11 in Escalon.

Fire officials said the fire was initially reported as a vegetation fire in the 19000 block of Santa Fe.

Battalion Chief Moe Silva said crews arriving on scene found a grass fire near the back of a large property on Santa Fe, near the intersection with Harrold Avenue.

“There were two different properties impacted along with a wooden fence line being burned,” Silva explained.

It appeared early on that Escalon would be able to contain the blaze, the battalion chief added, but once the mid-afternoon winds picked up, assistance was called in.

“We had mutual aid from Farmington, Riverbank out of the Stanislaus Consolidated station, Modesto fire out of the Oakdale Station 27 and a Battalion Chief from there,” Silva said. “From San Joaquin County, we had Clements, Lathrop-Manteca, Waterloo-Morada and Ripon.”

The fire started in light grass and involved primarily eight acres of grassland.

“When the wind picked up, it started to threaten structures,” Silva said.

The mutual aid units assisted with both structure protection and mop up.

The property was in and around an orchard and covered about eight acres of a 10-acre property. A fence did burn but there was no damage to any structures on either of the two properties impacted.

It was on the back half of the property, Silva said, so even though it was a large fire, it was mostly hidden from view. An estimated 20 firefighters were on scene and the fire was reported shortly after 2 p.m.; with crews working for about three hours on the firefighting effort.