Around 18 grass fires along several miles of Highway 41 resulted in the roadway being closed for several hours Thursday from Highway 145 to Road 200 in Madera County, the California Highway Patrol said.
The highway was reopened shortly after 4 p.m., according to the California Department of Transportation.
The Cal Fire command center said the fires were contained and mostly out by Thursday afternoon. The largest one was reported to be 12 acres.
At 10 a.m., several callers reported fire along the roadway and Cal Fire was notified, according to the CHP dispatch log. Also reported was a vehicle possibly dragging a chain along the roadway.
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“We don’t know what happened. We don’t know what caused it,” CHP officer Isaac Martinez said. “We’re trying to put it out and investigate it right now.”
Around 10:40 a.m., authorities started turning northbound drivers around, the CHP dispatch log said.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. de-energized power lines in the area to aid fire crews, which cut power to about 340 customers, according to PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles. Power was later restored, according to PG&E.