Wildfire near Coalinga burns 2,900 acres, threatens structures

FRESNO COUNTY -- A wildfire threatening homes near Coalinga is growing bigger.

Firefighters came rushing up Highway 198 near Curry Mountain to fight the flames. The fire is currently at 25 percent containment.

A line of heavy, thick smoke covered the highway and some drivers headed home from work say they were caught in thick of the chaos.

"Once I got up there, the road was burning pretty hot," witness Jeffrey Honda said. I basically stuck around to see if anybody needed help,"

The fire broke out at 5 p.m. and quickly spread to more than 1,900 acres and has currently burned 2,900.

By nightfall, both sides of the road were smoldering as dozens of Cal Fire crews fought back the flames with dozers and engines.

"There are several spot fires ahead of the main, the steep terrain and wind are fueling the fire," John Dominguez with Cal Fire said.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office have called an evacuation warning from the Coalinga City Limits to the Fresno-Monterey County line.

So far, there have been no injuries or structures destroyed.

"Residents that live up there can show an ID to CHP at the road block to get up there," Dominguez said. "There's a lot of livestock that residents own."

Down closer to the city of Coalinga, more Cal Fire engines are staged, ready to respond.

As of now, firefighters say there is no immediate danger to the city itself.

Evacuation Centers have been set up at:
Chapel Grace Church

120 E. Hawthorne
Coalinga, CA

Large Animal Evacuation Location:
West Hills College Rodeo Grounds
South side of Gale Ave. and 1 mile west of Highway 198
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