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Ag Fire Threatens California Resort

August 8, 2008 by   - () Leave a Comment

An agricultural burn Thursday (Aug. 7) near Kingsburg, Calif., got out of control, touching off a fire on an island in the Kings River that threatened the Riverland RV Resort.
Workers at the 160-site resort on the south shore of the river off Highway 99 used garden hoses to soak the roofs of several privately owned cedar cottages along the shore, directly across from where the fire was burning along the narrow island in the middle of the river, according to the Visalia (Calif.) Times-Delta.
Embers from that fire drifted over the cottages and the man-made pond in the middle of the resort and touched off a series of small fires on the south shore of the pond, near a horse corral, setting off a series of fires in the brush.
“All of a sudden, we looked over there (across the pond) and we saw a little fire there, and it turned to six little fires,” apparently from several embers falling amid the dry, shoreline brush, said Dena Azevedo, 37, of Orange County.
She came to the resort to honeymoon with her new husband and their two children. Before that happened, Azevedo said, she smelled smoke. Then she and others at the resort saw the island on fire as flames engulfed trees 50 feet and higher.
Fighting the fire on the island proved to be a challenge. At one point, firefighters attempted to shoot water from the shore of the Riverland resort onto the island, but most of the water just ended up getting blown back by the wind.
As for Riverland, hot embers burned holes into several camper awnings as well as a couple of rubber rafts and touched off a small fire in a tree next to one cottage, but firefighters put it out before it grew very big.
Still, Chrys Ann Carpenter, the resort’s manager, said she would call the owners of the cottages to come and check for damage.

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