A house fire in Oakdale on Monday morning was quickly contained, but firefighters used the opportunity to remind people about fireplace safety as the weather starts cooling off at last.
Firefighters were called to the home on Maple Drive Monday morning on a report of smoke and flames coming from the chimney. Family members evacuated the home.
Crews arrived and immediately started checking the attic area and working on the chimney, Stanislaus Consolidated Capt. Buck Condit said in a post on the department’s Facebook page.
“The fire is out,” Condit wrote, adding that it was the residents’ first use of their fireplace this year. “Please clean your fireplace before using.”
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More people likely will be using their fireplaces in the upcoming weeks, as autumnal weather at last approaches the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
According to the National Weather Service, after a week of above-normal temperatures, more typical weather is settling in, followed by the first real storm of the season.
For Halloween, the high is expected to be only 70, a nearly 20-degree drop from just last week. Sunny and mild conditions are expected through Thursday, with clouds moving in on Friday.
Overnight temperatures are expected to drop into the low 50s.
That storm could bring between 1 and 2 inches of rain to the Valley, with “several feet of snow” possible in the higher elevations, forecasters said in a Special Weather Statement issued Monday. “Rain slick roads can be expected with localized flooding from leaf-clogged drains and ash flowsaround recently burned areas.” Most of the action is expected Friday night into Saturday.
Also this week, the San Joaquin Valley Pollution Control District’s “Check Before You Burn” season gets under way. Each year from Nov. 1 through Feb. 28, the district posts the word-burning status on its website. On days when the air quality is poor, burning will be discouraged or prohibited completely.