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Homes threatened by vegetation fire in Southwest Manteca
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A fire burning dry vegetation along Bronzan Road that runs parallel to the 120 Bypass  triggered the evacuation of 12 tract homes Monday afternoon.

Manteca Fire was assisted by Tracy, Lathrop Manteca, Stockton, as well as other agencies to contain the 10-acre fire by late afternoon.

Altogether, 20 fire engine crews battled the fire that started at 2:40 p.m.

Black smoke reduced visibility forcing the temporarily closure of the McKinley Avenue off-ramp in southwest Manteca.

Manteca has already had a number of grass fires along the 120 Bypass in the past few weeks

Manteca Fire Chief Dave Marques has warned that weed abatement is critical this year due to the wet spring that helped produced thick vegetation as high as 4 feet that has since been dried out by hot temperatures and high winds.

The vegetation fires doing major damages in cities located in the state’s valleys  has increased in the past few years.

A similar grass  fire in October 2017  ultimately destroyed 5,647 structures in Napa and Sonoma counties .More than half of the homes lost were in the Tubbs Fire were in the City of Santa Rosa.

 Manteca every year has fences and structures that burn due to weeds catching on fire.

Homes have been lost in the Manteca area in past years due to brush fires.

And the conditions are such that there is a strong possibility there could be losses again this year if properties aren’t abated of weeds.

 A grass fire along Interstate 5 in 2019 fueled a fire that led to 36 homes in a north Stockton neighborhood being destroyed when winds quickly spread the flames.

Conditions were similar to what Manteca experienced on Monday.

Three homes were lost west of Manteca three years ago due to a grass fire.

Twenty-five years ago, smoke from a grass fire in the southeast quadrant of the 120 Bypass and Highway 99 interchange caused a northbound driver on Highway 99 to drive off the freeway toward the fire.

Manteca is now issuing weed abatement citations.

Rules for weed control can be found in Municipal Code Chapter 8.16 and are available for viewing on the city’s website at www.ci.manteca.ca.us.

If you have questions about the weed abatement program or would like to report a property that is not being maintained, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at (209) 456-8340.

 

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com