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Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name: Creek, Shaver Lake
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: SNF
  • Size (acres): 379,802
  • Percent Contained: 70%
  • Estimate of Containment: November 15, 2020
  • Personnel: 428
  • Structures Destroyed: 856

Creek, Sierra NF, USFS. IMT 2 (AK Black Team). Thirty-five miles northeast of Clovis, CA. Timber, chaparral and tall grass. Minimal fire behavior with creeping and smoldering. Numerous structures and energy infrastructure threatened. Area, road and trail closures in effect.

November 14, 2020 at 10:47 AM

About an inch of snow accumulated in the higher elevations of the fire area as a result of a weak system which arrived overnight. That system has passed through and skies are expected to continue to clear today. Crews continue to work on suppression repair, focusing efforts on Grizzly Road, Central Camp Road, Huntington and Shaver Lakes, and along Dinkey Creek Road. In addition, residents and motorists may see aircraft in the Shaver Lake Area as Southern California Edison (SCE) continues to place power poles and pull lines.

Motorists are advised that will Highway 168 is open, the Forest Closure remains in effect. This closure is in place to protect firefighters and equipment who are working along roadways and burned areas to fell and remove hazard trees, provide slope stabilization, and repair any damage done during the suppression effort. Recent precipitation has created icy conditions along roads and extra traffic is a hazard to firefighters. In addition, Central Camp Road remains closed to visitors and is now also close to residents (even those with permits) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for tree falling.

Weather: The weak system which passed over the fire overnight resulted in scant dusting of snow above 7,000 feet. Temperatures are expected to warm and dry today, with another system expected to enter the fire area around Wednesday of next week.

Pile burning in Shaver Lake: The CAL Fire, Fresno-Kings Unit will continue burning brush/slash piles that were assembled during suppression repair work on the Creek Fire today along Hwy 168 between Shaver Lake Village and Shaver Point. Smoke from the burn piles may be visible locally.

November 8, 2020 at 11:29 AM

After more than two months, Mother Nature finally lent a helping hand to firefighters. Light precipitation in the form of snow at higher elevations and rain at lower elevations fell over the fire area Saturday. Thirteen-hundredths of an inch of precipitation was recorded at the High Sierra remote automated weather station about 4 ½ miles southwest of Lake Thomas A. Edison and one-tenth of an inch of rain was measured in Fresno. It marked the first wetting rain (one-tenth of an inch or more) in the area since May 18, a period of 172 days.

Though it was just a dusting, the snow that fell in the high-country wilderness along the Fish Creek drainage below Pumice Butte on the northeast corner of the fire about 5 miles south of Mammoth, where the fire has been most active in recent days, definitely helped subdue fire behavior.

“It wasn’t a lot of snow and it was really patchy but it was just enough with the higher relative humidity to put the fire to bed, for the most part,” said Alaska Incident Management Team Operations Section Chief Casey Boesflug.

More snow is forecast today, with 4-8 inches expected between 4,000-7,000 feet elevation and 10-16 inches at higher elevations. At lower elevations below 4,000 feet, forecasters are calling for 0.25 to 0.75 inches of rain. It remains to be seen if the storm system will produce a season-ending event but “it bodes very well,” said incident Fire Behavior Analyst Byron Kimball. “We may see smoke but we definitely won’t see any movement because the fine fuels have been taken out of the equation,” he said. “The heavy fuels will continue to burn until they are consumed or we get enough moisture to put them out. Sixteen inches of snow could be enough moisture to put them out.” Given the expected conditions, the public is asked to refrain from driving into the fire area to allow firefighters and other personnel to operate safely on what are expected to be treacherous road conditions.

Suppression Repair: Fire managers continued to move heavy equipment to lower ground in anticipation of the expected weather and hazardous road conditions. Crews are repairing fireline and removing hazard trees along roads and in campgrounds where conditions allow. Work will continue where possible based on conditions and safety. Work has been completed on more than 450 of the 600 miles of fireline in need of repair.

October 30, 2020 at 10:34 AM

Yesterday, the helicopter rappelers and hotshot crew completed a piece of direct line, cutting movement north and east, where the fire crossed Fish Creek west of Pond Lilly Lake. Helicopters made bucket drops in this area all day in support of the crews and will be working in the area again today as needed. North of Thomas A. Edison Lake, the fire is burning between the lake and Graveyard Meadow.

Crews will continue constructing fireline between the lake, Graveyard Meadow, and solid rock outcrops to contain the fire. This work will be supported by helicopters throughout the day.

The far northern area of the fire has moved into areas of granite outcrops and there has been no movement in this area. From Junction Bluffs to the west end of Thomas A. Edison Lake, there has been little or no movement of the fire in recent days. It will continue to creep and burn any available fuels, but it remains no threat to Devils Postpile or Mammoth Lakes. Because of steep, hazardous terrain on the north and northeastern sides of the fire, suppression tactics to stop the forward rate of spread include the use of natural barriers – in conjunction with direct attack when safe to do so.

Elsewhere on the fire there are widely scattered areas where large logs and duff continue to burn down, but these are all well interior. The most visible such area is near Cascadel Point where yesterday crews worked to extinguish some hotspots . Suppression repair will be the primary focus of resources today across the fire footprint. Today, California Interagency Incident Management Team 1 will be transitioning management of the fire to the Alaska Black Incident Management Team.

October 22, 2020 at 10:27 AM

The fire continues to burn in the Ansel Adams Wilderness where it is producing smoke and in high points from Mammoth flames are visible. The area that the fire is burning in is very steep and inaccessible, making it difficult to get ground resources in. The fire is moving slowly southeast from Pincushion Mountain towards Vermillion. Granite outcrops are blocking movement to the north and east. The far northern area of the fire has moved into areas of granite outcrops where it continues to creep and burn any available fuels, minimal forward spread is anticipated. Currently, the Creek Fire poses no threat to Mammoth Lakes or Devil’s Postpile. The Vermillion -Thomas Edison Lake area continues to have crews and equipment mop up and secure area around the community.

A single small slop-over was found outside the line on the far eastern end of the horsehoe around 1/8th of an acre during one of the patrols and has been lined and mopped up. Around the rest of the fire systematic suppression repair effort is underway prioritizing those areas in the high county that may be impacted by weather first is occurring across the entire fire footprint. This work includes water barring on indirect lines, chipping, brush covering and pulling across unused line to reduce erosion impact. Falling operations with feller modules continue to work through out the fire to fall hazardous trees near any lines.

October 21, 2020 at 9:20 AM

There was no growth on the fire overnight. The far northern area of the fire continues to move into areas of granite outcrops where it continues to creep and burn any available fuels, minimal forward spread is anticipated. The fire remains active in the northeastern corner where it is burning in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Currently the fire is most active southeast of Pincushion Mountain where it is burning back on itself. At this time, it poses no threat to Mammoth Lakes or Devil’s Postpile. The Thomas Edison lake areas continues to have crews and equipment mop up and hotspots and secure area behind the strategic burning operations that occurred a couple days ago. Elsewhere on the fire crews continue to patrol and mop up any hot spots that threaten control lines.

A systematic suppression repair effort is underway prioritizing those areas in the high county that may be impacted by weather first is occurring across the entire fire footprint. This work includes water barring on indirect lines, chipping, brush covering and pulling across unused line to reduce erosion impact. Falling operations with feller modules continue to work through out the fire to fall hazardous tress near any lines. California Interagency Incident Management Team 1 assumed command of the entire fire at 5:00 PM on October 20.

Weather: The weather will continue to be hot and dry for one more day. Starting Thursday and extending into the weekend we will see decreasing temperatures and an increase in humidity, which will moderate fire activity. Winds will remain light and smoke will accumulate in the valleys near the fire. There is a slight chance for precipitation Sunday. Smoke will continue to accumulate in and near the fire as well as nearby valleys overnight and throughout the day because of the continued light terrain driven winds.

Summary: In the northwest firefighters are working on strengthening fireline, mopping up, and removing hazard trees where needed. On the western side of the fire crews continue to patrol, mop up and backhaul any unneeded equipment and remove hazard trees along roads. The southern end of the fire is in patrol status. On the east side of the fire in and below the horseshoe crews are working on strengthening control lines and mopping up. Crews are continuing to work on structure protection around the Vermillion Resort area and may carry out strategic firing operations as needed.

October 18, 2020 at 10:41 AM

Weather Information: High pressure aloft will bring hot and dry conditions along with generally light winds through this coming weekend resulting in critical fire weather conditions. Smoke will continue to increase across the area resulting in worsening visibility and air quality.

South Zone:

Fire activity last night continued to burn on the north eastern part of the fire and had moderate fire growth to the east in the area of the San Joaquin River near Junction Bluffs. The fires edge grew northward on the peninsula east of Edison Lake. Operations and crews will continue to evaluate and plan for suppression opportunities. Firing operations continue to remain a part of the suppression effort as safety and weather permits. Resources continue to patrol and mop-up from Florence Lake to the North/South Zone break, located near Redinger Lake. Crews proceed to remove hazard trees along road systems throughout the burn area.

Suppression lines are continually being repaired. This total reflects 251 miles of Dozer line, of which 46 miles has been repaired and 94 miles of Hand Line Construction, 2 miles has been repaired. Suppression repair work is occurring on approximately 350 miles of line and assessments of impacts are nearly complete.

North Zone:

A transfer of command will occur on Saturday, October 17 at 6:00 PM. The Northern Rockies Team 4 will transition with California Team 1, a type one incident management team. A new closure order was issued for the Sierra National Forest lands for October 17th.

On the western side of the fire from the San Joaquin River north to the Little Shuteye Peak firefighters patrolling and monitoring for hot spots have reported cold black along perimeter and little activity near containment lines. Suppression Repair work has been completed on the Bass lake dozer lines and crews continue to work on post-fire erosion prevention. Crews have cleared the roadway to Shuteye Lookout Pass and are working toward Norris bridge cutting hazard trees and chipping wood debris along roadways.

Farther northwest near Upper Chiquito and Red Top areas crews are working to secure containment lines, patrol for hot spots and mop up with the support of aviation resources. The Structure Group is patrolling interior, removing structure wrap in appropriate areas while monitoring the fire conditions near structures to make sure they remain secure. The Roads Group is working on cutting hazard trees in order to widen a safety barrier along roads affected by the fire. The suppression repair crew has been successful and continues to construct water bars on dozer lines.

October 16, 2020 at 9:38 AM

The late season heat wave should peak on Saturday then begin to moderate early next week. Smoke will accumulate near fires and adjacent to valleys overnight, including the San Joaquin into the mornings underneath an inversion near 5000 ft. Expect only limited air quality improvement during the day as winds will remain light. Expect minimal humidity recovery at mid to upper slope. Strong nighttime inversions and minimum humidity are expected. High pressure will become located over the state into the weekend. This will also confine smoke to drainages and valleys decreasing visibility and air quality.

SOUTH ZONE:

Last night fire activity was near Cassidy Meadow and south of the San Joaquin River near Junction Bluffs. Due to weather conditions yesterday, a planned firing operation was canceled. Operations will evaluate and plan for other opportunities.

Suppression lines are currently being repaired. This total reflects 251 miles of Dozer line, of which 46 miles has been repaired and 94 miles of Hand Line Construction, 2 miles has

NORTH ZONE:

On the western side of the fire from the San Joaquin River north to the Little Shuteye Peak area crews continue to patrol, mop up areas of heat and monitor for hot spots along the containment lines. With the support of aviation resources, crews near Little Shuteye Peak have been successful with suppression in unburned areas within the interior of the fire. In addition, these crews are also cutting hazard trees and chipping wood debris along roads.

Farther northwest near Upper Chiquito and Red Top areas crews continue to patrol and mop up along the containment lines. Suppression repair and rehabilitation crews continue constructing water bars on dozer lines to prevent future erosion. The Roads Group is working on cutting hazard trees in order to widen a safety barrier along roads affected by the fire. The Structure Group is patrolling interior, removing structure wrap in appropriate areas while monitoring the fire conditions near structures to make sure they remain secure.

October 10, 2020 at 10:52 AM

Below average temperatures will remain present through the end of the week, and overnight temperatures at high elevations may even dip below freezing. Significant increases in relative humidity, in the 40 to 60 percent range, have already helped to moderate fire behavior and slow the fires progress.  High clouds are expected to clear later today allowing for terrain driven winds to dominate, 3 to 8 mph downslope in the morning, shifting to upslope winds of 5-10 mph, with higher gusts in the afternoon. Diurnal influences will not be enough to clear smoke from the region. Heavy smoke prevented air resources from assisting suppression efforts yesterday. Without bucket drops over the remote and difficult terrain of Little Shuteye Peak, crews were left to perform dry mop-up, using hand tools only. Smoke is expected to keep air operations grounded again today.  

Fresno County-SOUTH ZONE: 

The Sierra National Forest will allow individuals who were evacuated from campgrounds, camping areas and cabins in the South Zone of the fire an opportunity to return and collect their belongings again this weekend, October 10 and 11. Please follow this link for more information on how to obtain an access permit. Permit Holder Access/Recreation Residence 

Smoke will be seen in the general area as fire personnel continue to strengthen the fire perimeter. Smoke from other fires in the state has become apparent in the Central Valley adding to the poor air quality. Please use caution while driving as heavy congestion is expected on Hwy 168 through the weekend. 

Madera County-NORTH ZONE:   

With mop-up nearly complete along the stretch of uncontained fireline around Little Shuteye Peak, crews have progressed to gridding the green fuels adjacent to those lines, looking for hidden sparks and embers smoldering in the duff. This activity indicates that fireline north and south of Little Shuteye Peak is approaching containment status.  

Our roads group has dropped more than a thousand trees in recent days to reduce hazards along interior roads, most of which are now open and passible. Yesterday they reported having completed improvement work in the Portuguese overlook area of the 7 road, far north end of the fire.  

The fire is 10 miles west of Mammoth Lakes; little forward progression is occurring due to the natural barriers of rock and the Lions Fire (2018) burn scar. Conditions continue to be monitored very closely.  

October 8, 2020 at 7:55 PM

Seasonally mild temperatures will remain present through the end of the week. A change in weather system will bring higher humidity which will influence fuels to gain moisture also. While measurable rainfall is not expected, the higher relative humidity will begin to slow the fire’s progress. Smoke will remain present overnight and in morning with general air quality improving in the afternoons as winds develop. Critical fire weather conditions are not expected through Saturday.

Fresno County-SOUTH ZONE:

The Sierra National Forest will allow individuals who were evacuated from campgrounds, camping areas and cabins in the South Zone of the fire an opportunity to return and collect their belongings again this weekend, October 10 and 11. Please follow this link for more information on how to obtain an access permit. Permit Holder Access/Recreation Residence

Crews conducted defensive firing operations around Florence Lake. Heavy resources are currently protecting property. Small clusters of homes and seasonal residences in the areas of Mono Hot Springs, Vermillion Resort, Muir Trail Ranch, Blayney Meadow and Florence Lake remain evacuated. Smoke will be seen in the general area as fire personnel continue to strengthen the fire perimeter.

Moderately active fire behavior will produce smoke visible along Forest Road 80 between Kaiser Pass Road and Florence Lake. Smoke from other fires in the state has become apparent in the Central Valley adding to the poor air quality we are experiencing.

Madera County-NORTH ZONE:

Beasore Meadow Belonging Retrieval / Cabin Winterization clarification.

Those seeking entry must meet at 9am at the Court House in Bass Lake on Thursday, October 8, to access the Beasore Meadow area. You must have proof of ownership or you will not be allowed in. Those who enter can leave at any time, no escort required, but once you leave, you will not be allowed back into the area. Additional date(s) will be available in the future, but none have been set at this time.

You will need a valid ID and proof of ownership such as a property deed or utility bill with your name on it.

Crews were able to complete fire line in the Little Shuteye Peak area Tuesday. Firefighters will continue to mop up and widen the line today with helicopter assistance as smoke allows. Additionally, snagging and cold trailing will continue to find any remaining heat in the vicinity. In Whisky Falls, crews completed five miles of chipping. Crews are finishing up with securing structures in Johnson Meadows.

The Roads Group has completed the removal of hazard trees along the 81 corridor, which is now completely open. Now, crews are focusing on peripheral roads within the fire area.

October 7, 2020 at 8:12 PM

Dry conditions will persist across the incident with afternoon humidity remaining in the teens during the day and poor humidity recovery overnight. Temperatures will remain a few degrees above average before cooling to right around seasonal averages by Thursday. Expect a little higher humidity both day and night over the next few days heading into the weekend. Terrain driven diurnal (daytime) slope flows will prevail. Smoke transport will follow diurnal slope winds with upslope transport during the afternoon and smoke returning to lower elevations with downslope/drainage flows overnight.

Fresno County-SOUTH ZONE:

The Sierra National Forest will allow individuals who were evacuated from campgrounds, camping areas and cabins in the South Zone of the fire an opportunity to return and collect their belongings again this weekend, October 10 and 11. Please follow this link for more information on how to obtain an access permit. Permit Holder Access/Recreation Residence

Crews conducted firing operations from Pack Station toward Florence Lake.

Small clusters of homes and seasonal residences in the areas of Mono Hot Springs, Vermillion Resort, Muir Trail Ranch, Blayney Meadow and Florence Lake remain evacuated.  

Two spot fires occurred Monday in the Ansel Adams Wilderness on the northeast side of the South Fork of the San Joaquin River. These spot fires did not move much yesterday and fire officials continue to monitor them and are looking for opportunities to safely engage.

Madera County-NORTH ZONE: 

Arnold Meadow and Beasore Meadow Belonging Retrieval / Cabin Winterization clarification. Those seeking entry must meet at 9am at the Mill Site in North Fork on Wednesday for access to the Arnold Meadow area, or 9am at the Court House in Bass Lake on Thursday to access the Beasore Meadow area. You must have proof of ownership or you will not be allowed in. Those who enter can leave at any time, no escort required, but once you leave, you will not be allowed back into the area. Additional date(s) will be available in the future, but none have been set at this time.  

You will need a valid ID and proof of ownership such as a property deed or utility bill with your name on it.

Crews were able to complete the fire line in the Little Shuteye Peak area yesterday. Firefighters will continue to mop up and widen the line today with helicopter assistance as smoke allows. A small spot fire near Globe Rock occurred yesterday. Crews are working to complete containment today in this area of heavy fuel. The Redtop area is now in patrol status. The southwest edge of the fire remains under patrol status and removal of hose used for suppression is close to completion.

The Roads Group has completed the removal of hazard trees along the 81 Road and is now focusing on peripheral roads within the fire area.

The fire is still 10 miles west of Mammoth Lakes; little forward progression is occurring due to the natural barriers of rock and the Lions Fire (2018) burn scar. Conditions continue to be monitored very closely.

October 5, 2020 at 11:54 AM

Fresno County-SOUTH ZONE:
Expect slow, steady, active fire spread in any direction with good fuel Continuity. Deep seated fire in heavy fuels will advance through moderate to high intensity surface fire. Very steep terrain will support short aggressive runs through timber. Zones around Florence Lake have been identified for evacuation orders.

Madera County-NORTH ZONE:
Along the area of uncontained fire perimeter near Cold Springs and in close proximity to Little Shuteye Peak, firefighters are attacking the slow-moving flame front directly. All other lines along the west flank, south of Globe Rock are in patrol status. Good containment has been achieved along northern fire perimeters in the vicinity Red Top Peak where active gridding (fire fighters moving through the area ensuring embers in the duff located and extinguished) and mop up are ongoing. Resources in the interior of the fire, including The Road Group continued to drop hazard trees (snagging) and clear roads of debris, as well as maintain a watch over unburned fuels in Arnold and Johnson Meadows. The last structure assessments are also taking place in the northern interior.* Seasonal and fire-induced loss of needles and leaves provides an additional opportunity for reignition within already burned areas. Crews are assessing and clearing the lines of these new flammable materials to ensure the fire does not move into unburned areas (green islands), and reduce the opportunity for slop overs and spots.

October 4, 2020 at 10:24 AM

Fresno County-SOUTH ZONE: Poor overall ventilation in the southern and lower eastern portions of the fire, will support smoke shading throughout the daylight hours. Fire activity near Edison Lake and Mono Hot Springs produced noticeable smoke, which will impact Kaiser Pass Road towards the North East portion of the fire. Conditions remain constant related to the south area’s expected fire activity.

Madera County-NORTH ZONE: Fire lines east of North Fork are now in patrol status with more than 10 miles of hose retrieved from those lines. Crews are looking at opportunities to work directly on the uncontained fire perimeter north and east of Bass Lake. Good success with containment has also been achieved along north west areas of the fire (Red Top) where active gridding (fire fighters moving through the area ensuring embers in the duff located and extinguished) and mop up are ongoing. The structure group is nearing completion of assessments in the upper 81 Road corridor, but needed to relocate yesterday due to heavy smoke, spending time in the Johnson and Arnold Meadows gridding for smoldering spots.

October 3, 2020 at 1:37 PM

Temporary Entry Permits:    

The Sierra National Forest will allow individuals who were evacuated from campgrounds, camping areas and cabins in the south side of the fire an opportunity to return and collect their belongings today and tomorrow as well as on October 10th and 11th.  Additional dates and northern access will be added as requested permit numbers dictate.  Please follow this link for more information on how to obtain an access permit.  Permit Holder Access/Recreation Residence 

 Weather Information: 

The strong area of high pressure that has kept temperatures well above season averages will slowly begin to weaken into early next week. This hot and dry regime will keep a hold through at least Saturday, before temperatures start to slide back towards normal early next week.  

Very dry conditions and light terrain driven diurnal winds will continue with poor humidity recovery again expected overnight along thermal belt areas. Smoke transport will follow diurnal winds with upslope transport during the afternoon and smoke returning to lower elevations with downslope/down drainage flows overnight. 

 Fresno County: SOUTH ZONE 

The Conditions remain constant related to the south area’s expected fire activity. The weather pattern continues to support the drought stressed fuels contributing to active fire behavior. A strong high pressure system will provide a warm and dry, but stable fire environment. 

 Madera County: NORTH ZONE 

Active burning of surface fuels within the Ansel Adams Wilderness (north side of the fire) continues, but is confined by natural barriers. In the northwest corner fire fighters continue to secure the edge, mopping up and increasing containment line depth. The southwest area from the San Joaquin River north to Central Camp will transition into patrol status now that that crews have completed mop up and widened and secured the containment line. Helicopters flew throughout the day yesterday supporting fire operations and are expected to be available throughout the day today. Additional helicopters are arriving today to supplement existing resources.  

 Removal of hazardous standing dead trees (“snagging”) continued along roads within and adjacent to the fire area. Crews are currently working in the Portuguese Creek and Strawberry Mine areas now that the southern portions of the 81 Road have been completed.  Structure protection and assessment is also ongoing. 

 The fire is still 10-12 miles west of Mammoth Lakes, little forward progression is occurring due to the natural barriers of rock and the Lions Fire (2018) burn scar. Conditions continue to be monitored very closely. Additional information is available via the Sierra National Forest Facebook page, or the following link:  

https://creek-fire-preparednessmonomammoth.hub.arcgis.com

 Cattle in and around the fire area are being rounded up and moved. Be aware of cattle, those working with them, fire personnel and other hazardous conditions when returning to the fire impacted area once it re-opens.  

September 30, 2020 at 9:20 PM

Fresno County:

Continuing hot and dry weather conditions are allowing for increased fire activity on the eastern portion of the fire near the 80 Road and Potter Pass. Sparser fuels and a changing fuel type (red fir and lodgepole pine) is expected to slow fire progression.

Fire fighters continue to patrol and enhance containment lines. Crews are mopping up and increasing the depth of the established fire line and treating hot spots. As a precaution, structure defense also continues in several areas within and near the southern and eastern edges. Hand crews are working in areas where dozer access is limited due to steep terrain, and helicopter support is also helping to treat hot spots and flare ups.

Operationally, the Incident Command Post at Sierra High School is relocating to the Veterans Memorial Building in Clovis, located at 808 4th Street. Public information will now be working from both Sierra High School and the Memorial Building. Please see the phone numbers listed above, media contact information has changed.

Madera County:

The hotter/drier weather conditions combined with dry/receptive fuels have the potential for flare ups and upslope runs along with short range spotting. The fire was more active in the north/northeast yesterday, within the Ansel Adams Wilderness, but confined by natural barriers. On the northwestern edge crews worked to put out hot spots and are planning a small backfiring operation to connect and fill in the containment line today. East of Central Camp and south of Little Shuteye Peak continues to be monitored, the fire is still hung up in the rocks in the same location as it has been for the last 10 days. Firefighters continued to mop up, widen the containment line and patrol the Central Camp, Whiskey Falls and southwestern corner of the fire. Helicopters were able to fly yesterday and support several areas around the fire with bucket drops.

Removal of hazardous standing dead trees continues along the primary roads within and adjacent to the fire area including the 81 and 274 Roads and Beasor Road. The structure protection group continues to work throughout the fire area including in the Johnson and Arnold Meadow areas.

The fire is still 10-12 miles west of Mammoth Lakes, no forward progression is occurring due to the natural barriers of rock and the Lions Fire (2018) burn scar which help to limit fire spread on the north-eastern flank. Conditions continue to be monitored very closely by emergency officials. 

September 26, 2020 at 12:08 PM

Fresno County: SOUTH ZONE

Active burning was once again observed on the South Zone of the Creek Fire overnight with some timber torching and short range spotting.  Heavier fuels (timber) and dense fuel beds will smolder for an extended period of time. 

There was moderate humidity recovery overnight and downslope winds were felt within the fire.  Smoke that has settled in low lying areas will struggle to mix out of the area due to light winds today.  Beginning today, a weather system bringing higher and hot temperatures arrives in the region with lower humidities.  This will last into next week. 

Areas where fire behavior will be most active will be south of Mount Tom towards the Portal Forebay and east towards the Dinkey Lakes Wildnerness.  Operational priorities for fire resources on the South Zone of the Creek Fire will be ensuring mopup near the existing fire perimeter helps hold containment.  Personnel will also work to improve and build remaining containment lines, and provide tactical patrol including the extinguishment of hot spots and preparing any threatened structures for defense. 

Madera County: NORTH ZONE

Weather conditions will change with a high-pressure system moving across the area starting tonight. This will shift winds to the northeast which will produce a light to moderate down-sloping wind. Temperatures are also expected to climb starting Sunday and  into next week and return day-time high temperatures to the 90’s. Expect smoke conditions to increase along the 41 Road Corridor.

Yesterday Air Operations successfully used the aerial ignition device dispensed by helicopter in the Whiskey Falls area.  This devise is called a PSD (plastic sphere dispenser), it is a compact and dependable aerial ignition devise used in areas that are too dangerous for firefighters.  The hazards in the area are the dead trees that are falling in that area. The tactical back-burning in the areas of Central Camp and Whiskey Falls was finished last night and crews will remain in the area to strengthen and work toward containment.

The Marines are supporting the firefighting efforts in the Cascadel and Central Camp areas.

With the change in anticipated wind direction to a northeast flow due to a high-pressure system moving into the area, all helicopters are now based at the Mammoth Lakes Airport. This relocation is not a result of any increased threat of fire progression.

At its closest distance, the fire was measured to be about 10-12 miles west of Mammoth Lakes. The visual inspection verified that the natural barriers and the previous Lions fire (2017) burn scar do appear to be limiting fire spread in the north-eastern flank. Conditions continue to be monitored very closely by emergency officials. Additional information is available via the Sierra National Forest Facebook page, or the below link:

https://creek-fire-preparednessmonomammoth.hub.arcgis.com.

September 24, 2020 at 10:17 AM

Fresno County: The fire actively burned south of Mount Tom and progressed towards Portal Forebay while actively burning and torching in the trees. Eastern portions of the fire are flanking to the east and the southern portion of the fire continues is burning with some short-range spotting. The low humidity overnight assisted to completely consume fuels within the burn perimeter, burning out interior islands.

Humidity recoveries were at best moderate and poor in other areas overnight with clear skies and relatively light winds. Smoke has settled back into the lower drainages and canyons again and will be dense for some locations. Sunny skies are again expected Thursday along with season temperatures and humidity, followed by the potential for record heat this weekend which is likely to increase fire behavior.

The fire will progress south and could reach the Portal Forebay while eastern portions of the fire will continue to progress to the east towards Dinkey Lake Wilderness. The southern portion of the fire should completely burn out to control lines as intended as part of the firing operation. Fire progression will slow as fuels become reduced in the high higher elevation rock while it will smolder in the heavier fuels.

Completing containment remains a priority in the South Zone of the Creek Fire though the use of heavy equipment and hand crews. Other fire personnel will focus on tactical patrol, including mop up of hot spots near and within the fire perimeter and preparing structure defense within threatened areas.

Madera County: Weather conditions will continue as they have been until this weekend. A high-pressure system will move across the northern part of the West Coast. This will shift winds to the northeast which will produce a light to moderate down-sloping wind. Temperatures are also expected to climb this weekend into next week and return day-time high temperatures to near 100 degrees in the lower elevations of the south and west areas of the fire. Expect smoke conditions to increase along the 41 Road Corridor.

Air Operations were delayed yesterday due to smoke conditions early in the day. However, during the afternoon, helicopters resumed water-drops along the Central Camp contingency lines, and in the area between Globe Rock and Little Shuteye Peak. With effective air support firefighting crews once again were able to aggressively back-burn problematic areas and continue to work towards extending the containment line north of Peckinpah Meadows.

On Friday, the Mariposa Heli-base will terminate firefighting operations, and all helicopters based there will relocate to Mammoth Lakes Airport. This relocation is in response to the expected northeast winds with the high-pressure system moving into the area this weekend, and not a result of any increased threat of fire progression.

At its closest distance, the fire was measured to be about 14 miles west of Mammoth Lakes. The visual inspection verified that the natural barriers and the previous burn scar do appear to be limiting fire spread in the north-eastern flank. Conditions continue to be monitored very closely by emergency officials.

September 20, 2020 at 11:48 AM

Fresno County: Fire activity moderated in the South Zone of the Creek fire last night combined with improving overnight humidity recovery. Though the fire continued to back and smolder in the heavier fuels, more active fire behavior was observed in the light fuels in wind prone areas. A new surface fuel is being established as the overstory in the lightly burned areas are beginning to drop leaves and needles. This will be monitored as it creates the potential for a ground fire to return to areas previously burned.

Clear skies and light winds allowed smoke to settle back into the lower drainages and canyons, which will create a heavier smoke inversion layer than was experienced yesterday. Today, sunny skies will prevail today with a gradual warming and drying trend that should allow smoke to lift through the day, but will not completely dissipate.

The fire intensity should increase as the weather continues to dry through the day. Heavier fuels retaining heat for long periods of time may spread to lighter fuels in the afternoon. Spotting can become an issue again today when if the smoke inversion layer allows sunshine to preheat fuels. However, limited progression beyond the existing fire perimeter is expected in most areas of the fire today.

If the fire does progress, it is expected to do so to the east of Huntington Lake around China Peak and to the northeast, potentially connect with the portion of fire moving south around Mount Tom. Growth will slow as fuels become scarcer in higher elevations. The fire may progress towards Florence Lake and the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness.

Operational priorities remain full containment of the fire in the South Zone and heavy equipment (bulldozers) and manual (handcrew) line construction will continue around the east portions of the zone. Fire suppression units (e.g. fire engines) will focus on tactical patrol and direct mopup in and near the fire perimeter.

Madera County: 250 Marines and Sailors with 7th Engineer Support Battalion from Camp Pendleton, California are beginning a 2-day field training today to reinforce the recent classroom orientation for new firefighters. The trainers are experienced wildland firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service. All are looking forward to supporting containment efforts.

Firefighters on the west side of the fire are beginning back-burning operations along the 09 Road. Heavy vehicle traffic is expected from North Fork through Central Camp as well as on the Beasore Road. Please drive cautiously! Beware of standing dead trees and other hazards.

The fire is slowly progressing to the northeast toward rock bluffs and other natural fire barriers. Strategies are in place for the northern flank and the community of Mammoth Lake; the fire edge is still than 10-12 miles from Mammoth Mountain. Additional information is available via the Sierra National Forest Facebook page, or: https://creek-fire-preparedness-monomammoth.hub.arcgis.com

Heavy smoke is forecast for portions of the Creek Fire today. Air operations will be scheduled as conditions permit. Please respect the Temporary Flight Restriction; keep drones away from the fire and firefighting operations. If you fly, we can’t! Don’t be the reason a firefighting air mission has to divert!

September 19, 2020 at 8:27 PM

A few more evacuation warnings were lifted in the South Zone, occurring outside the fire perimeter in the southwestern area of the fire, and the general area of Meadow Lakes and Humphrey’s Station. The chance for precipitation ended last evening but relative humidity remained high overnight. Increased sunshine today will lead to slightly warmer temperatures and daytime relative humidity will be lower than yesterday and the South Zone will experience more terrain driven wind.

Madera County: Firefighters continue to show steady progress working north along the west side of the fire, developing containment line and preparing for back-burning operations. Work is focused on the 09 Road today; crews will move north toward Central Camp as operations there are completed.

At this point the fire is moving slowly to the northeast. Firefighters have strategies in place for the northern flank as well as in the community of Mammoth Lake, although the fire is still more than 10 miles from the community. Additional information is available via the Sierra National Forest Facebook page, or: https://creek-fire-preparedness-monomammoth.hub.arcgis.com.

September 18, 2020 at 9:21 AM

Fresno County: On Friday, the Creek Fire’s South Zone should experience less fire activity this morning than during the previous operations periods. An overnight weather system brough high level tropical moisture to the fire, increasing cloud cover and humidity and very light showers were experienced in the fire area. This pattern will linger into Friday morning, and gusty southwest winds return in the morning along with seasonal temperatures, humidity, and local upslope and upcanyon winds.

While precipitation may occur, it is forecast at less than 1/10th of an inch. It will reduce fire activity in finer fuels such as grasses and brush but will not affect heavier fuels like timber.

For this reason, as the weather system moves out Friday afternoon southwest winds will increase. This presents the likelihood that fire in the afternoon into the overnight periods will be more substantial than the daytime.

Last night the fire behavior was centered around Huntington Lake around China Peak. It will also progress towards Florence Lake and the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness. It should be noted substantial heat remains in the heavier fuel loads, in which smoldering will be observed until complete mop-up can occur.

Operationally for the next twenty-four and forty-eight hours, the priority remains increasing containment through perimeter control and direct attack of any open flames and mopping up inside the current fire area. This will be accomplished through utilizing bulldozers and building new line and improving existing lines. Where the terrain limits accessibility of bulldozers, hand-crews are assigned to complete this task in Blue Canyon and Sycamore Creek and some portions of the southwest area of the fire.

Madera County: Weather conditions for today will feature increasing humidity along with the chance for light showers in the region. This humidity will help reduce the volatility of spot fires, and slow progression of the fire in the north and northeastern sections of the fire. This weekend, down-sloping winds and an inversion layer will return once again trapping smoke in lower elevations and valleys.

Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks have all been closed to the public. The Parks were closed due to the unhealthy smoke conditions, and not because of the threat of fire spread. Any remaining visitors in these National Parks will be evacuated today. All visitors and recreationists reported to be in the Forests have been accounted for and have exited the park with no injuries reported.

Work continues on the west flank to fortify contingency lines and to protect assets such as Central Camp and the Bass Lake area. The tactics deployed in this area will provide options for our firefighting operations depending on how the fire reacts to the changing weather conditions in this area.

Preparations continue for the community of Mammoth Lakes as winds push the Creek Fire to the northeast. Management Action Points (MAPs) have been established as virtual lines on the map in relation to fire location. If the fire crosses any of these MAPs, Emergency Officials will enact appropriate actions to protect life and property. All concerned in this specific region can visit the Sierra National Forest Facebook page, or use the following link for information: https://creek-fire-preparedness-monomammoth.hub.arcgis.com

September 17, 2020 at 9:52 AM

Fresno County: The South Zone of the Creek Fire enters a critical period for the remainder of this week as winds will increase the next several days combining with other weather influences which may encourage fire growth. As a result, the operational priorities and objectives will focus on protecting at risk communities and infrastructure in the areas most likely to see fire growth.

While the lifting of the smoke inversion the next few days may allow aviation assets to deploy and assist with fire attack, it will also provide more preheating of fuels on south and southwest slope aspects in the zone. If the predicted winds develop this could result in increased fire activity, spotting, and spread into areas where the alignment of topography and weather are a potential. For this reason, direct attack, direct line construction, and active mop-up of all areas in the South Zone are prioritized for resources assigned on the fireline.

Crews assigned to the eastern perimeter are working to construct new fireline and improve existing fireline. Utilizing built and natural barriers, such as roads and existing topographical features, personnel are strengthening the line around the Rock Creek and Bald Mountain. Work progresses around China Peak to fully establish containment lines. Near and around Shaver Lake structure protection is the operational priority as line south of the area is being constructed. If the fire moves east and north from the southernmost portion of the fire into Blue Canyon towards the threatened communities around Bretz Hill Rd, additional structure damage could be realized. Additionally, direct attack of open flame and aggressive mop-up continue in this area, and all areas around communities on the fire.

Madera County: Very dry air began moving into the region yesterday, along with increased winds and weakening of the inversion. These factors allow for increased fire growth along the north and northeastern flanks of the Creek Fire. Containment lines on the west flank were extended north from Cascadel Woods to an area just south of Peckinpah Meadow. Extension of containment lines has kept overall containment at 18% despite the fire spread. Very low humidity levels will continue today, with an enhancement of the upslope winds for these higher elevations.

Work continues on the west flank to fortify contingency lines and to protect assets such as Central Camp and the Bass Lake area. The tactics deployed in this area will provide options for our firefighting operations depending on how the fire reacts to the changing weather conditions in this area.

Preparations continue for the community of Mammoth Lakes as winds push the Creek Fire to the northeast. Management Action Points (MAPs) have been established as virtual lines on the map in relation to fire location. If the fire crosses any of these MAPs, Emergency Officials will enact appropriate actions to protect life and property. All concerned in this specific region can visit the Sierra National Forest Facebook page, or use the following link for information: https://creek-fire-preparedness-monomammoth.hub.arcgis.com

The number of evacuated residents due to the fire is still approximately 11,000. As a result of the reduced evacuation orders, the Red Cross Temporary Evacuation Facility at the Mariposa Fairgrounds has been closed.

Please visit the Sheriff’s website https://nifc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=28ce52cb86bf49dea0adef5a78b3c1b5 for current updates on evacuation orders and warnings. Damage assessments are approximately 58% complete; the county will notify property owners directly as information becomes available.

September 16, 2020 at 9:27 AM

Fresno County: A Fire Weather Watch is in effect Thursday afternoon through Friday. Firefighters are preparing for a significant weather change across the fire area as the highpressure system that has been over the area moves east. A low-pressure system moving over California will bring clear air, gusty winds and cooler temperatures at the higher elevations. These conditions will give the fire a chance to become more active and begin pushing it toward lines that have not yet been wind tested.

The weather will affect several conditions on the fireline. Currently, in many areas of the fire, the flames are low intensity and slowly eating away fuels on the surface. Since all the vegetation has not been consumed, as the winds pick up, the intensity of fire will grow as it is pushed toward lines. This will test the established perimeter line. Firefighters have been improving containment lines established during the incident and several shaded fuel breaks constructed prior to the Creek fire to stop or divert fire spread.

A tactical firing operation that began yesterday in Cherry Valley will continue today. This operation will tie the fire edge into the dozer line that has been in place for several days. The plan is to fire when appropriate and build direct line on the fire’s edge whenever it is safe to do so. This operation will burn out approximately 5,000 acres of fuel between the dozer line and the fire. The objective is to keep the fire out of Blue Canyon, ultimately protecting Shaver Lake, and to establish solid control lines.

Safety is always a primary concern for firefighters. The winds are expected to cause multiple weakened and dead trees in the fire area to fall. The effort to remove the trees near the fireline and roadways has been ongoing. Lower temperatures at the higher elevations could also be a problem. The cooler air will flow down the San Joaquin River drainage and bring high winds to the lines at the bottom of the drainage.

There are over 250 miles of fireline to be improved or constructed. This includes dozer line protecting the last Sugar Pine stand in the state. This ½ acre of Sugar Pine is expected to repopulate the species throughout California.

Madera County: Estimated containment for the fire has increased to 18%. The weather conditions yesterday afternoon brought more of a southwest wind, which allowed for some clearing of the smoke conditions along the west side of the fire. Today’s weather conditions will feature lower humidity levels which may fall below 10% relative humidity, with very little recovery overnight. This dry air coupled with clearing smoke conditions may lead to increased fire activity this afternoon, especially along the northern fire perimeter. Wind conditions will increase Thursday afternoon into Friday in the higher elevations of the Sierra National Forest further supporting fire spread on the north and northeast flanks.

Road clearing operations continue along the 81 Road and Mammoth Pools Road. This will eventually provide safer access to the northern fire perimeter for the fire crews. Operations also continue to remove an estimated 1,500 cattle remaining in the fire area. Beekeepers are working on removing active beehives from along the fire lines, which will allow crews to work in those areas.

A major factor in containment progress along the perimeter are snag patches. These patches are areas of dead trees which have been burned but remain standing. These trees are a constant safety threat to fire crews and the greatest threats need to be felled. Residents returning to evacuated areas are advised to avoid these areas and to be aware of the danger of falling trees. Damage assessments are approximately 55% complete; the county will notify property owners directly as information becomes available.

The Madera County Sheriff’s office has again lifted evacuation orders, reducing the number of evacuated residents to approximately 11,000. As a result of the reduced evacuation orders, the Red Cross Temporary Evacuation Facility at the Mariposa Fairgrounds has been closed. Please visit the Sheriff’s website (QR code and complete web address below in yellow highlight) for current updates on evacuation orders and warnings.

Air operations are resuming missions slated for today. Please respect the Temporary Flight Restriction; keep drones away from the fire and firefighting operations. If you fly, we can’t! Don’t be the reason a firefighting air mission has to divert!

September 15, 2020 at 8:47 AM

North Zone – Active fire behavior, with short range spotting on the northwest, north and northeast portions of the fire.

South Zone – The fire continued to burn actively through the night and created a spot fire in the southern portion of the fire increasing in activity with increased wind. The northern portion burned in the understory with isolated torching in the morning and became more active with short runs and group torching in the afternoon. The eastern portion of the fire continue to actively burn in the understory.

September 14, 2020 at 10:02 AM

Fresno County: Down canyon winds have increased fire activity in Jose Basin and pushed the fire across the line toward structures. This morning, firefighters are engaged in structure protection in the area. Later this morning, as winds shift to an up-canyon flow fire crews will work to re-establish a perimeter control line and mop up hot spots.

Smoke over the fire has shaded the vegetation and decreased fire behavior over the last several days. Today, that smoke could clear at the higher elevations and lead to more intense fire activity which could include runs and spotting. With this in mind, fire crews have been scouting beyond the fire out to the east to locate structures and other values at risk. A plan will be developed for the protection of these resources in the event that fire does move to the east.

On the eastern perimeter dozers, engines and crews will be working to construct new line and strengthen existing fireline. In the Tamarack area crews are tying into roads and natural barriers between Rock Creek and Bald Mountain and working to strengthen lines around several spot fires in Tamarack Creek. Line is also being established around China Peak. The northeast portion of the fire, where the smoke shading will have less of an impact, is expected to be the most active portion of the fire today. However, if smoke clears at the lower elevations there is a potential that fire in Blue Canyon could also make a run. With that in mind firefighters are working the perimeter and preparing structures around Shaver Lake.

One major concern is the potential for extreme fire behavior should the air become clear above the fire area. Clearing air will be an indication for firefighters on the ground that conditions are about to change. When the inversion over a fire begins to break up and the air starts to mix, it is very much like opening the flue of a fireplace. The smoke will begin to rise and pull fresh air into the fire, increasing activity. Firefighters are preparing for this possibility and will adjust tactics as necessary.

Madera County: The Madera County Sheriff lifted evacuation advisories for Zones M58 – M87, the general Highway 41 corridor between Road 200 and Bass Lake Road (also known as Road 222). Please visit the Sheriff’s website (QR code and complete web address below in yellow highlight) for current evacuation status. Firefighters are working to clear Road 81 and Mammoth Pool Road so utility companies can restore service before residents to return.

While dense smoke persists throughout valley bottoms this morning, winds from the south and southwest are expected to increase later this afternoon, potentially bringing a little fresh air to the area. Winds are expected to push the fire to the north/northeast.

On the north side of the fire, crews are focused on point protection, defending identified areas such as structures. Protection measures are in place at Devil’s Post Pile National Monument and Red Meadows. Fire suppression work continues on the west side; miles of line extend from Redinger Lake north to Cascadel Woods and Central Camp, with dozer line circling communities and many dispersed structures. Crews continue to back-burn between the containment lines and the active fire front, working to declare additional sections of the perimeter contained.

The Sheriff continues to enforce evacuation notices and maintain road closures to protect the public. Damage assessments are in progress; the county will notify property owners directly as information becomes available.

With better visibility, air operations have missions slated for today. There have been conflicts between firefighting operations and drones. If you fly, we can’t! Please comply with the temporary flight restriction. Don’t be the reason a firefighting air mission has to divert!

Damage inspections

Damage inspection teams are evaluating structures; assessments are approximately 30% complete. Madera County Sheriff’s Office is contacting property owners directly. A website is available for Fresno County properties that have been assessed to date: https://calfire-forestry.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=1933470ef8ea4c7e9cede56adf54efe1&extent=-13377356.4387%2C4419677.6073%2C-13142541.8878%2C4523937.7139%2C102100.

September 13, 2020 at 10:01 AM

Fresno County: Today the weather will transition and winds, combined with lower humidity and higher temperatures will begin to develop in the afternoon. The Creek Fire South Zone firefighters are working on multiple fronts that will become more active as the smoke clears.

A lot of good work has been accomplished over the four days that the smoke layer has held the fire activity down. Crews will fight to hold and improve on that work today, and to add to the progress that has already been made. Patrol and extinguishment of hot spots will be the focus around structures south of Huntington Lake where firefighters engaged with a defensive firing operation that saved several structures. Fire also challenged the line in the area of Old Bretz Mill and Sierra Cedars. Firefighters were able to hold the line, preventing the fire from moving toward nearby structures.

The fire did burn over the line yesterday in Jose Basin on the southwest edge of the fire. Crews will work to pick the area up as it backs down the hill. They will also be patrolling around structures and mopping up any hot spots.

Line construction will continue in multiple areas. Construction of fireline between Shaver Lake and Dinky Creek is a high priority for fire managers. The lack of a suitable ridge to the east to use as a contingency line is a concern. Fireline work will continue along Cherry Valley and into Blue Canyon where firefighters are concerned that the fire could become aligned with the wind and make a run. In the northeast the fire has been running along the North and South Zone dividing line for the fire. This finger of fire is burning in light fuels and moving toward natural rock barriers that will slow spread.

Madera County: The fire continues to push west toward Central Camp, challenging initial plans for containment lines in that area, but structure protection remains in place.

Firefighters are developing and improving containment line on the west side of the fire from Redinger Lake north to Cascadel Woods and Central Camp.

The weather pattern is beginning to shift; increasing winds are likely to begin moving smoke out of the north end of the fire, which is also expected to encourage fire growth to the northeast. Structure protection is underway on the north side of the fire, at Devil’s Post Pile National Monument, and Reds Meadows.

With better visibility, air operations are expected to resume. There have been conflicts between firefighting operations and drones. If you fly, we can’t! Please comply with the temporary flight restriction. Don’t be the reason a firefighting air mission has to divert from the operation.

The Madera County Sheriff continues to enforce evacuation notices and maintain road closures to protect the public. Damage assessments are in progress; the county will notify property owners directly as information becomes available. Firefighters are working to clear roads so that utility companies have access to restore service, as the sheriff’s office begins to develop plans for residents to return to communities.

September 12, 2020 at 10:15 AM

Fresno County: Fire behavior remains active in the South Zone of the Creek Fire. An area south of Mammoth Pools has been spreading to the northeast toward the wilderness. Conditions in the Auberry area are improving as firefighters build line both directly and indirectly on the fire’s edge from the San Joaquin River east to Highway 168. Crews are working around the structures looking for hot spots and mopping them up. Similar operations are taking place near homes in the Huntington Lake and Shaver Lake communities.

Efforts to build line around seven spot fires east of Huntington Lake have progressed quickly with most of the fires completely lined. Firefighters will now “plumb” the area by extending hose lines around the spot fires so that they can extinguish the remaining heat. Fire below the ridge backing into Blue Canyon will be assessed by crews today who will determine the best course of action to address the situation. With abundant dead and downed fuel, this fire is backing slowly into the Canyon raising concern that it could become established and make a run into Shaver Lake.

Firefighters will also be assessing a new spot fire in the area of Bald Mountain. Madera County: Crews continue hard work on the containment line, steadily moving north on the west side of the fire toward Central Camp. Dozers and hand crews construct line, while other firefighters work overnight to back-burn the area between the new line and the active fire front. The back-burns are monitored for hotspots before the line is considered contained. Although it is hot, slow, dirty work, no firefighters have been injured to date on this incident.

The weather pattern is expected to remain the same today, holding a thick smoke layer over the region. The smoke layer reduces fire activity with lighter winds and cooler temperatures, assisting firefighters with suppression efforts. When the inversion lifts and wind speeds increase, the fire still has substantial potential for rapid growth.

The Madera County Sheriff continues to enforce evacuation notices and maintain road closures to protect the public. Damage assessments are in progress; the county will notify property owners directly as information becomes available.

Damage inspection teams are evaluating structures; assessments are approximately 5% complete. Structures are currently grouped in the mixed category until further details are available; information will be updated as soon as possible.

September 11, 2020 at 10:12 AM

Fresno County: Firefighters on the South Zone of the Creek Fire are building on a successful shift yesterday. Dozer operators and hand crews have now tied fireline into the San Joaquin River. The San Joaquin River divides the north and south zones of the fire. This line will join with line from the North Zone and provide an anchor point for the construction of control Line. Crews also worked to secure areas around structures in the areas of Auberry, Shaver Lake, Hudson Lake and Huntington Lake.

On the east side of the fire today crews will focus on perimeter control and constructing a preliminary line around several spot fires located southeast of Huntington Lake. A key safety hazard located at China Peak will be addressed by Fresno County Sheriff. Blasting caps are used for avalanche control and are stored at the sight. Firefighters have had to maintain a safe distance around this area. Once secured, they will be able to address fire control issues at the site.

On the southern perimeter dozers are pushing along the ridge north of Burrough Valley Road to tie the fireline into Blue Canyon. This operation is a key component in the effort to protect Shaver Lake. Blue Canyon contains a large amount of dead standing timber and if fire became established in the drainage it could run toward the community.

Madera County: Firefighters continue to make gains on the west side of the fire under a thick smoke layer settled over the area. Although the smoky air is unpleasant and limiting air operations, it is also providing cooler temperatures, lighter winds, and reduced fire activity, giving firefighters an opportunity to conduct successful operations. The smoke is expected to persist at least another day.

Dozers and hand crews are continuing to build line northward. Last night’s back-burning operations were successful from TerraTerra north to Cascadel Woods. Firefighers are also working on building line and structure protection in North Fork/South Fork area and Central Camp. Containment lines are capitalizing upon old dozer lines, roads, and natural fire breaks, such as rocky outcrops and open areas.

While conditions are expected to remain favorable today for suppression efforts, the fire still has substantial potential for rapid growth when the inversion lifts. The Madera County Sheriff continues to enforce evacuation notices and maintain road closures to protect the public.

September 9, 2020 at 8:48 PM

The fire actively burned throughout the night with short range spotting and active runs. The critical fuels were completely consumed in portions of the fire. Active crown runs were observed in timber stands in the higher elevations.

Madera County: A strong inversion is expected to continue moderate fire activity on the west side of the fire by holding smoke over the area which providing shade and a buffer from the gusty winds at higher elevations. Hand crews and equipment operators are making progress constructing containment line from the San Joaquin River northwest toward Castle Peak. Dozers continue to work to reduce vegetation and burnable materials in the vicinity of structures at Cascadel Woods and to the north along the western fire flank. The Red Flag Weather Warning has been extended through 8pm Wednesday; high temperatures, low humidity, and high winds will persist in the area, creating extreme fire conditions. The Madera County Sheriff continues to safely evacuate citizens, enforce evacuation notices, and maintain road closures near the southwestern fire front to protect the public. Please note the temporary evacuation center for Madera County has relocated to Mariposa County Fairgrounds.

September 8, 2020 at 10:36 AM

Fire activity picked up overnight with the Mono wind event. The fire continued to grow under extreme conditions. The Red Flag Warning for strong winds will impact the fire in the early morning, with stronger winds to come. The fire made wind driven runs and increased spotting distance. Red Flag Warning in effect until 11 pm Tuesday for high tempaeratures, low humidity and high winds.

Forest Closures issued by the USDA Forest Service: US Forest Service temporarily closes Southern California Forests, including the Sierra National Forest. Regional order number 20-07 Emergency Forest Closure.

Damage inspection teams are in the process of evaluating structures. These numbers will be fluid.

  • Single Residences: 60 Destroyed 0 Damaged
  • Other Minor Structures: 20 Destroyed 0 Damaged
  • Commercial Structures: 02 Destroyed 0 Damaged

September 8, 2020 at 9:18 AM

Extreme, Crowning, wind driven runs Long range spotting. The fire continues to grow under extreme conditions. The fire has had strong winds with upper level winds from the northwest and variable lower level winds. The fire continued to grow in all directions with large increases to the south and east. The progression has threatened new communities in the foothills, especially with the winds predicted for today. Extreme fire behavior is still being observed with the critical fuels and weather. Evacuations and Road Closures. Hwy 168 is closed.

September 7, 2020 at 11:12 PM

The fire continued to grow under extreme conditions. The fire had stronger winds today, with upper level winds from the northwest and variable lower level winds. The fire continues to grow in all directions with large increases to the south and east. The progression threatens new communities in the foothills, especially with the winds expected overnight into tomorrow. Extreme fire behavior is still being observed with critical fuels and weather.

As Damage inspectors survey the area, this information will be fluid.

  • Single Residences: 45 Destroyed 0 Damaged
  • Other Minor Structures: 20 Destroyed 0 Damaged

September 7, 2020 at 9:35 PM

  • The fire crossed over Highway 168 is moving south with extreme fire behavior
  • Fire continued to grow in all directions with large increase to the south and east
  • Structures remain threatened
  • Evacuation orders in place for Camp Sierra, Shaver Lake, Big Creek, Huntington Lake, Mammoth Pools, Centeral Camp, Cascadel Woods, Auberry, New Auberry, Peckinpaugh, Italian Bar, Bass Lake, North Fork, South Fork, Fish Camp, Wawona and structures along Forest 81 Road
  • Multiple road and trail closures in the area including closure of Hwy 168
  • Threat to PG&E and Southern California Edison Hydro-Electric power plants. SCE high voltage power lines that supply power to 250,000 customers and 2 million customer in the San Joaquin Valley.
  • Threat to multiple repeater sites
  • The fuels continued to be the main influence of the fire, with heavy fuel loading from dead and down material due to 80-90 percent tree mortality
  • Infrastructure threat to multiple schools, rural fire stations, Sherriff substation, and water pump stations
  • Threat to Threatened and endangered species; Pacific fisher, Yosemite toad, Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, CA Red-legged frog, willow flycatcher, bald eagle, Sierra Nevada red fox and their critical habitats
  • Threat to multiple Native American tribal communities and cultural resources of over 1200 archaeological sites
  • Forecasted increase in winds will clear the air of smoke allowing heating of the fuels and increasing the potential for a plume dominated fire with the potential to spot up to 5 miles
  • Damage inspection team ordered
  • FMAG application approved
  • Unified command USFS and CALFIRE
  • CAL FIRE IMT 1 (Truax) in command
  • The fire will be zoned tomorrow at 0600. Great Basin IMT 1 (Adell) will assume command of the North Zone tomorrow at 0600. CAL FIRE IMT 1 (Truax) will remain in command of the South Zone

The Creek Fire a fast-moving fire burning on both Districts of the Forest. The fire which started near the communities of Big Creek and Huntington Lake, moved very quickly prompting several evacuations. Early Saturday afternoon the fire crossed the San Joaquin River and made a run into the Mammoth Pool area. Prompting some members of the public to shelter in place near Wagner’s Store and Campground.

With assistance of the California Army National Guard, 207 people were safely evacuated and assessed for medical needs. The fire burned actively overnight. Crews will be challenged today by steep rugged terrain, heavy fuel loading and high temperatures. Additional resources have been ordered including a Type 1 Incident Management Team. Evacuations and closures remain in effect.

September 7, 2020 at 3:32 PM

The town of North Fork and surrounding are under mandatory evacuation order. Rd 221, Rd 222, Rd 226, and Rd 200 and all tributary roads are included. Please do not wait for an order to leave if you feel threatened.

Wishon and Bass Lake Annex are under advisement.

September 7, 2020 at 1:03 PM

New #CreekFire evacuation orders being issued for Cascadel Road (and all off-shoots), Peckinpah Rd, Mission Rd, Douglas Rd S, South Fork, Tu Nobi, Rd 225 from Cascadel to Italian Bar. Deputies enroute to make door-to-door notifications.

September 7, 2020 at 10:53 AM

The fire continued to grow under extreme conditions. Fuels continued to be the main influence of the fire, with the heavy fuel loading from the dead and down material. Timber in the area has approximately 80-90 percent tree mortality from the bark beetle. The community of Shaver Lake was threatened throuout the night. Fire crossed over Highway 168 and is moving south with extreme fire behavior.

September 6, 2020 at 3:54 PM

A Fire Advisement has been issued for the following areas:

Fish Camp – This includes all areas of Fish Camp from the Mariposa County Line to the Yosemite National Park Boundaries. For areas of Fish Camp in Madera County please refer to Madera County Sheriff’s Office.

This is NOT a Mandatory Evacuation, this is an advisement only of fire in the area, allowing you to prepare for a potential Evacuation Order should conditions change. Fire conditions can change at any moment so please start to prepare.

Don’t wait for an evacuation order to leave if you feel threatened. If you feel unsafe please leave the area.

For a map of the current Fire Advisement areas click here- https://arcg.is/14je1K0

A Temporary Evacuation Point has been established at the Oakhurst Community Center located at 39800 425B (Fresno Flats Rd) Oakhurst, CA. Please stay in your car and wear a mask when contacting Red Cross.

September 6, 2020 at 3:39 PM

September 6, 2020 at 9:05 AM

Early Saturday afternoon the fire crossed the San Joaquin River and made a run into the Mammoth Pool area. Prompting some members of the public to shelter in place near Wagner’s Store and Campground. With assistance the California Army National Guard, 207 people were safely evacuated and assessed for medical needs. The fire burned actively overnight. Crews will be challenged today by steep rugged terrain, heavy fuel loading and high temperatures. Additional resources have been ordered including a Type 1 Incident Management Team. Evacuations and closures remain in effect.

Evacuations:
Mandatory Evacuations in place for the communities of Big Creek, Huntington Lake, Shaver Lake and Cascadel Woods.

Road Closures:
Hwy 168 is closed 2.7 miles east of Prather below the four lanes. Visitors are advised that there is no access to the Shaver Lake area.

September 5, 2020 at 9:24 PM

September 5, 2020 at 7:55 PM

September 5, 2020 at 5:25 PM

Crews are challenged today by steep rugged terrain, heavy fuel loading and high temperatures. Additional resources have been ordered including a Type 1 Incident Management Team. The Fire has crossed to the north side of San Joaquin River and is impacting areas near Mammoth Pool. Evacuations and closures remain in effect.

September 5, 2020 at 2:49 PM

This vegetation fire is burning on the Sierra National Forest. The fire is located near the San Joaquin River and the communities of Big Creek and Huntington Lake. The cause is under investigation. Fire crews, engines, dozers and aircraft are at scene. Crews are challenged today by steep rugged terrain, heavy fuel loading and high temperatures. Additional resources have been ordered including a Type 1 Incident Management Team. Evacuations and closures remain in effect.

Evacuations:
Mandatory Evacuations in place for the communities of Big Creek and Huntington Lake.

Road Closures:
Hwy 168 is closed 2.7 miles east of Prather below the four lanes. Visitors are advised that there is no access to the Shaver Lake area.