Bushes and trees catch on fire on Freeway 41 just south of Ashlan. Traffic slows to a crawl as crews rush to put it out.
Earlier in the day, Fresno firefighters hose down wood and debris on fire in the backyard of a southeast Fresno home. The large swath of land is covered in high, dry grass. The fire spread quickly.
“We could have lost at least three homes. The grass is super dry and of course we have a little bit of wind,” said Oscar Betancourt, a fire captain.
Betancourt says a man was disking the yard when he hit a power pole. It caused lines to bump each other and sparks flew to the ground. The man tells CBS47 he was actually trying to reduce the risk of fire. He's seen illegal fireworks in the area and worried they may fall in the backyard.
A neighbor says he'll probably play with fireworks later, but after seeing the backyard fire, he’ll be very careful where he does it.
“You don't want to play by dry fields or anything,” said Lawrence Bohanon.
A third fire in northeast Fresno damages fences and vegetation. Firefighters believe it started near the canal but don't know what caused it.
Brandon Beamon says his backyard looked like a big wall of fire before firefighters got there. On an already wild day, crews hope people consider everyone's safety when lighting fireworks at night.
“They should not leave the ground because that's when people get in trouble,” said Betancourt.
Extra fire crews are scheduled to work in the evening to help handle the increase in calls for service. The fine for setting off illegal fireworks is $1,250.