MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Firefighters from all around the region quickly attacked a grass fire that likely started from cooking in an illegal encampment along the Tuolumne River. 

“We were able to contain it with this wind blowing. It’s going 30-40 mph, so it was blowing pretty extensively,” said Battalion Chief Tony Miranda, with the Modesto Fire Department.

Miranda said they were fortunate to contain the fire to 53 acres, in the area of Miranda and Finch roads, in south Modesto. There were no structures in the vicinity.

 “We had one burn patient that we flew out,” Miranda said. 

Paramedics transported a homeless man for burn injuries, who was living in this area. There is no word yet on his condition.

Firefighters said Monday’s blaze marks the beginning of what could be a very long fire season.

“From what we’re hearing, it’s pretty much what our summer’s gonna look like — fires and wind-driven and dry,” Miranda told FOX40. “So they’re gonna be popping up quite a bit through Stanislaus County.” 

He said it’s a good time for residents to prepare for the hot, dry and windy months ahead.

“Just clear stuff around your properties. Keep the rubbish down, grass down. Mow it. Disk it. Whatever you need to do get that barrier between yourself and the vegetation,” Miranda urged. “It’s gonna be a tough fire season — again.”