The Tulare County Fire Department reports that smoke from a controlled grass fire near the Tulare-Lindsay Highway by Road 168 Wednesday, caused a six vehicle accident that left two people with minor injuries and one with moderate injuries.
Firefighters arrived at 10 a.m. to find about 12 vehicles stopped on the road and smoke from the grass fire crossing the road. Six of the stopped cars had been involved in a series of rear-end collisions after one of the drivers hit the brakes upon entering the smoke and was rear-ended, causing a chain-reaction accident.
The smoke was very thick and the workers were trying very hard to suppress the fire after they realized that smoke had caused the accident, a press release states.
A mother and an infant in one of the vehicles had minor injuries and a male driver of another car had moderate injuries. They were taken to Kaweah Delta Hospital by ambulance.
A 3,500-hectare fire continued to consume forest near Berens River First Nation on Thursday.(Province of Manitoba)Fifty-five people from Berens River First Nation were airlifted out of the Manitoba community Wednesday night because of a health hazard posed by billowing smoke from a massive forest fire burning nearby.
Of 136 forest fires currently burning in the province, the one 24 kilometres northeast of the reserve is the largest at 3,500 hectares, fire officials said.
About 80 firefighters are battling the fire, and the province is using water bombers and other aircraft to try and contain it.
Fire officials said they believe a person set the fire but can’t say yet whether they did so intentionally.
People living on the reserve were forced out largely because the smoke was so thick it presented a health hazard for people with respiratory problems.
Three planes were contracted to airlift them to Winnipeg, about 270 kilometres southwest of the reserve.
Rene McKay told CBC News he’s lived on the reserve all his life and has never seen such heavy smoke.
“Never not that close anyway. It was quite heavy, McKay said.
Officials said the fire poses no threat to homes or other buildings in the community.
The fire risk is high throughout the area because it has been an extremely dry spring, officials said.Billowing smoke from the fire forced the province to airlift 55 people from the community on Wednesday night. (Province of Manitoba)