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UPDATE: Courtney Fire Near Bass Lake Destroys 33 Homes, Now 90 Percent Contained

Credit Diana Aguilera / Valley Public Radio
Valley Public Radio
The remains of a home near Bass Lake.

UPDATE: 9/18/2014 - 9 A.M.

Cal Fire officials say the Courtney Fire is 90 percent contained.

UPDATE: 9/18/2014- 7:30 A.M. 

Containment of the Courtney Fire has now risen to 80 percent. As of Wednesday evening, all evacuations have been lifted.

UPDATE: 9/17/2014 - 6 P.M.

Cal Fire reports the Courtney Fire is now 70 percent contained. As of Wednesday evening all evacuations have been lifted. 

Road 426 between Summit Road and Road 223 is open to residents only. In order to enter, residents have to obtain an entrance pass through Madera County Sheriff at the Oakhurst Substation on Liberty Drive. 

UPDATE: 9/17/2014 -  8:30 A.M.

Cal Fire officials say the Courtney Fire, which burned 320 acres, is now 60 percent contained. Road 426 between Summit Road and Road 226 remains closed.

UPDATE: 9/16/2014 - 7:25 P.M.
Containment of the Courtney Fire has now risen to 50 percent. On Tuesday some 35 residents were escorted through the burn are by Cal Fire. Two injuries have now been reported as a result of the fire. The blaze has burned 320 acres. 

On Tuesday evening the evacuation order was lifted for residents who live along Summit Road. Around 200 structures remain in the evacuation area. Cal Fire advises residents to remain cautious of fire equipment and personnel operating in the area. 

UPDATE: 9/16/2014 - 8:30 A.M.

Cal Fire officials say the Courtney Fire is now 40 percent contained and evacuations are still in effect for about 600 residents living in the Bass Lake Heights Community. Road closures remain in place. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

UPDATE: 9/15/2014 - 6:38 P.M. 

Cal Fire reports that the Courtney Fire, which has burned 320 acres near Bass Lake in Madera County is now 35 percent contained. A total of 61 structures have been destroyed by the fire, including 33 homes. Another 10 structures have been damaged. 

Officials also have announced that some residents will be allowed to return to their homes. 

Effective September 15, 2014 at 6:00 PM the Evacuation Order is lifted for the residents along Road 426 at Courtney Lane and Road 426 at Suncrest Drive and all roads adjoining.blaze. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Some 200 homes with around 600 residents remain under an evacuation order. 

The following roads remain closed:

  • Road 426 between Suncrest Drive to Road 223
  • Road 222 between Road 432 (Rec Point) and Road 426
  • Road 426 between 222 and 223
  • Road 426 between Courtney Lane and Road 426 at Suncrest Drive is open to residents only.

UPDATE: 9/15/2014 - 5:33 P.M.Officials with Cal Fire are beginning to assess the damage caused by the Courtney Fire. So far 33 homes have been destroyed, as well as 28 outbuildings. Another 4 homes were damaged as well as 6 outbuildings. The fire remains at 320 acres and is still 20 percent contained. 650 firefighters are battling the blaze. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Credit Madera County Sheriff's Office
The remains of a structure destroyed by the Courtney Fire near Bass Lake

  UPDATE: 9/15/2014 -8:30 A.M.

The Courtney Fire has destroyed or damaged 21 structures while threatening hundreds more. Officials say the fire is now 20 percent contained and is a big threat to the Bass Lake Heights community. Cal Fire says the fire has charred about 320 acres. One person has been injured and the cause remains under investigation.


A fast moving wildfire near Bass Lake in the mountains of Madera County has destroyed at least 10 structures and is threatening hundreds more.

The Courtney Fire began Sunday afternoon and swept through a residential neighborhood on Courtney Lane before burning to the shore of Bass Lake. By Sunday night the fire had burned an estimated 320 acres. Authorities say 400 structures are threatened by the fire. The fire is zero percent contained. 

Credit Don L. Weaver / Valley Public Radio
Valley Public Radio
A DC-10 air tanker drops fire retardant on a ridge near the shore of Bass Lake on Sunday September 14th.

  According to Cal Fire as many as 1,000 residents in the northern part of Oakhurst and Bass Lake have been evacuated due to the fire.  Evacuation centers have been established at the North Fork Town Hall and Oakhurst Community Center. 

Fire crews said in a statement California's drought has contributed to the rapid spread of the blaze:

Cal Fire: "Access to the fire is difficult due to steep terrain and several structures in the interface. Firefighters are experiencing extreme fire behavior conditions due to drought and low fuel moisture."

This report will be updated. 

Joe Moore is the President and General Manager of KVPR / Valley Public Radio. He has led the station through major programming changes, the launch of KVPR Classical and the COVID-19 pandemic. Under his leadership the station was named California Non-Profit of the Year by Senator Melissa Hurtado (2019), and won a National Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting (2022).
Diana Aguilera is a multimedia reporter native of Santiago, Chile. It was during her childhood in Santiago where her love for journalism sparked. Diana moved to Fresno while in her teens and is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno. While earning her degree in journalism and minor in Latin American studies, Diana worked for the Fresno Bee. Her work as a general assignment reporter continued after college and was recognized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2014, she joined Valley Public Radio. Her hobbies include yoga, traveling and reading.