40-acre fire in Prather area shuts down Highway 168, threatens homes

The Fresno BeeJune 9, 2014 

Update: Cal Fire said the Prather-area fire has grown to 40 acres with just 10% contained. One commercial building was destroyed and four people suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene, according to firefighters.

Highway 168 in the Prather area has been closed to traffic while fire crews battle a brush fire that's growing, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Fresno County Sheriff's Lt. Rick Hill said deputies also are working with county fire officials to determine if evacuations are required.

Fire officials say the blaze started about 3:15 p.m. off Highway 168 between Vineyard and Gooseberry roads, west of Prather, and had charred about 20 acres by 4:20 p.m.

Fire is on both sides of Highway 168 and is threatening several structures, according to Cal Fire dispatchers.

Highway 168 has been closed from Millerton Road to the Prather area, according to the California Department of Transportation. Caltrans was diverting traffic to Auberry Road.

This story will be updated.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6166, mbenjamin@fresnobee.com or @beebenjamin on Twitter.

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