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Hot Saturday busy for firefighters
Oleanders burn
Oleanders burned Saturday afternoon along northbound Highway 99 between Hatch and Whitmore. - photo by Courtesy of Facebook

With temperatures reaching 108 degrees, the weekend proved to be a busy one for Ceres firefighters who put out a number of heat-related fires.

On Saturday Ceres Fire responded to 11 medical aid calls, a working structure fire, six vegetation fires and two car crashes.

At 3:18 p.m. on Saturday Ceres fire engines #15 and #16 were dispatched to fight a fire burning the oleanders between the northbound lanes of Highway 99 and the frontage road south of Hatch Road. An additional engine was called out to assist in mopping up the fire and supply water to Engine 15 working on the freeway side of the incident. Engine 16 extinguished the fire from the Herndon roadside of the incident. The fire tied up fire crews for about 45 minutes.

At 3:39 p.m. Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Department called for assistance in fighting a growing vegetation fire on the north side of the Tuolumne River on both sides of the Mitchell Bridge. The fire quickly established into grass, brush, and trees creating a large resource to the scene. Ceres Fire engines #18 and #15, and a Ceres Battalion chief worked a two-acre spot fire on the south side of the river west of Mitchell Road. 

The fire consumed about 10 acres.

While Ceres was fighting fires in triple-digit heat, Turlock City Squad 32 provided station coverage in Ceres along with Ceres Engine 16 so that no emergency calls were missed.

At 9:22 p.m.  units responded to a residential working structure fire in the 1800 block of New Chesham Court in Modesto. The fire was quickly knocked down; crews then awaited the arrival of MID to secure the electrical so they could finish extinguishing and overhauling the fire.