Large Fire Destroys Two Homes, Damages Others in Madera

(Photo: FOX26 Photojournalist Michael Garcia)

(KMJ/FOX26) — A large vegetation fire broke out Tuesday evening in the 1600 and 1700 blocks of Riverview Drive in Madera.

According to Cal Fire, two homes were destroyed and two others were damaged after the fire began around 6 p.m. in the Fresno River.

The flames then worked their way south across the river and into the backyard of nearby homes.

Investigators say several vehicles were also damaged during the fire and 23 homes were without power.

Both Central and Orchard Avenues were closed for several hours as crews continue to clean up the area.

Officials say there have been fires in the area due to homeless people camping in the Fresno River.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Garcia said, “We do get constant fires in the Fresno River with the homeless population. We did have some strong winds out here today – probably 15 miles per hour with gusts of 20-25, so once the fire got established in the Fresno River, it did push across the river to the south and did start bumping the backyards of all these structures.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.