Sheyanne N Romero
Published 6:35 PM EDT Sep 7, 2020
As many predicted, the Creek Fire nearly doubled in size on Sunday and now sits at 78,700 acres as it continues to threaten more communities.
In a matter of days, the fire has decimated homes, forced thousands to flee well-known recreation areas like Shaver and Bass lakes, and now threatens to Yosemite National Park.
The fire is burning in two counties — Fresno and Madera.
The extent of the damage is still unknown, but at least 25 homes have been destroyed in the small community of Big Creek. Cal Fire reported that 5,296 structures are seriously threatened.
No fatalities have been reported. As of Monday, the fire was 0% contained.
More than 200 people and 15 dogs have been rescued from Mammoth Pool Resivor over the last two days. At least 20 people were hospitalized.
More than 800 firefighters are battling the fire and continue to struggle to control the fast-moving blaze. The fire shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, according to fire officials.
“The fire continues to grow under extreme conditions,” Cal Fire reported Sunday night. “Fuels continue to be the main influence of the fire, with the heavy fuel load from the dead and down material.”
Temperatures are also creating an issue as weather conditions are “hot and dry.”
The fire was ignited Friday night near the San Joaquin River and the communities of Big Creek and Huntington Lake. By Saturday, Fresno and Madera counties started to issue evacuation orders and advisories for visitors and residents.
Creek Fire Evacuation Orders:
- The town of North Fork and surrounding aread – Rd. 221, Rd. 222, Rd. 226, and Rd. 200 and all tributary roads are included.
- Shaver Lake down to Cressman Road, including Cressman Road
- Big Creek
- Huntington Lake
- Camp Sierra
- High Sierra areas, which include: Florence Lake, Ward Lake, Portal Forebay, Edison Lake Mono Hot Springs, Kaiser and all campgrounds.
- The area west of Tollhouse, along Auberry Road west to Powerhouse Road.
- Alder Springs, Mile High, Meadow Lakes, Big Sandy, Mono Wind Casino, Jose Basin and Italian Bar.
- Dinkey Creek, Wishon & Courtright Reservoirs.
- Tollhouse Road at Peterson Road down to Lodge Road
- Beal Fire Road
- Powerhouse Road to the San Joaquin River
- Entire town of Auberry, which extends from the San Joaquin River on Powerhouse Road to Auberry Road in both directions out to Hwy. 168. This includes the points next to Prather and next to Cressman’s General Store.
- Cascadel Road (and all off-shoots), Peckinpah Rd., Mission Rd., Douglas Rd., South Fork, Tu Nobi, Rd. 225 from Cascadel to Italian Bar.
- Bass Lake Basin
An evacuation order means there is an immediate threat to life. There are currently no evacuation warnings for Fresno County.
Two evacuation centers have been established by the American Red Cross at Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Fresno Flats Rd., and Clovis North High School, 2770 E. International Ave., Fresno.
Red Cross has established a hotline for shelter information at 571-595-7401. Text your zip code to 888-777 for text alerts.
The Clovis Rodeo Grounds are open to large animals displaced by the Creek Fire. The rodeo grounds are located at 748 Rodeo Drive in downtown Clovis.
For missing persons call:
- Fresno County Sheriff’s Office – (559) 600-3111
- Madera County Sheriff’s Office – (559) 658-2555
Sheyanne Romero covers Tulare County public safety, local government and business for the Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register newspapers. Follow her on Twitter @sheyanne_VTD. Get alerts and keep up on all things Tulare County for as little as $1 a month. Subscribe today.