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Fire scorches area near freeway in Turlock
grass fire 6-16-18
A grass fire charred about a half-acre near Highway 99 in Turlock on Tuesday. - photo by Contributed

A grass fire burned a swath of land in Turlock Tuesday afternoon leaving a half acre charred in its wake.

The fire was reported around 4 p.m. at the Golf Road overpass of Highway 99.

The Turlock Fire Department responded with two engines and Squad 32, while the Turlock Rural Fire Department sent a Type 6 engine as part of a mutual aid agreement. The agency also provided city coverage during the blaze.

The crews arrived to find about a half acre ablaze. Quick actions brought the fire under control and crews remained on scene for another hour to extinguish any hot spots.

Turlock Irrigation District was requested for a check of some wooden power poles which were slightly damaged by the fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

All across the state firefighters are dealing with the consequences of a wet winter that has given rise to new grass growth that is now drying out in the higher temperatures.

May was the official start of wildfire season in California and by that time firefighters had already responded to more than 950 wildfires that have burned over 5,800 acres, according to Cal Fire.

Cal Fire encourages residents to help safeguard their homes by using fire-safe construction features and look for points of entry where embers can enter the home during a fire. Home and property safety preparation should also include creating a defensible space by clearing brush at least 100-feet or more away from the home and using fire resistant landscaping to help stop the spread of wildfire.

“Our firefighters train hard to prepare for wildfires. Residents need to do the same,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE Director, and California’s State Forester. “Wind-driven embers can destroy homes or neighborhoods far from the actual flame front of a wildfire. The reality is that in a major wildfire, there simply will not be enough aircraft, fire engines or firefighters to defend every home in the early stages of the incident. This reality requires you to take personal responsibility for protecting yourself, your family, and your community.”

CAL FIRE’s “Ready for Wildfire” app is a tool to use in year-round preparation. Checklists found on the CAL FIRE app help homeowners prepare and maintain defensible space, harden homes with ignition-resistant building materials, and create family evacuation plans and kits. The app features customizable alerts to electronic devices when CAL FIRE responds to a wildfire of 10 acres or more in the vicinity. To download the ready-for-wildfire app and to learn how to create defensible space around a home, visit

Any information regarding the Turlock fire should be directed to Fire Marshal Mark Gomez at 669-2119 or