Heavy black smoke from a fire in the dry Fresno Riverbed near State Route 99 near Fourth Street closed one southbound lane of traffic about 2:45 Tuesday afternoon as fire crews worked to stop the fire from spreading in the dry brush. No injuries or accidents were reported.
The origin of the fire is believed to be suspicious, and fire officials are asking for help from the public to identify how the fire started.
Traffic slowed and came to a stop several times as motorists merged and watched the fire crews. The thick smoke blowing across traffic lanes briefly impeded visibility across northbound and southbound lanes.
Madera County Fire Battalion Chief Jim Forga said the fire burned through at least two to three acres, and breezes of four to five mph pushed the flames rapidly through the brush...