Date: 09/16/2020 Time: 9:00
Incident Start Date: 09/04/2020
Incident Start Time: 6:33 p.m.
Incident Type: Wildland Fire
Cause: Under Investigation
Incident Location: Both sides of the San Joaquin River near Mammoth Pool, Shaver Lake, Big Creek and Huntington Lake.
Forest/CAL FIRE Units: Sierra National Forest, CAL FIRE Units Fresno-Kings and Madera-Mariposa-Merced
Unified Command Agencies: Great Basin Team 1, CAL FIRE 1, Fresno County Sheriff, Madera County Sheriff
Firefighter Injuries/Fatalities: 0
Expected Full Containment: 10/15/2020
Structures Threatened: 9,934
Structures Destroyed: 650·
Structures Damaged: 52·
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 high-pressure 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!
The evacuation map of Creek Fire evacuations for Fresno and Madera counties is available online: https://nifc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=28ce52cb86bf49dea0adef5a78b3c1b5
The Sierra National Forest will host an Incident Briefing Wednesday at 7pm via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/SierraNF/
· Damage inspection teams are evaluating structures; assessments are approximately 55% 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.
Sign Up for Emergency Alerts
Fresno County: https://t.co/Otack9NyKc?amp=1
Madera County: mcalert.org
Mariposa County: Sheriff Office, sign up with Everbridge: msoalert.com
Temporary Flight Restriction: Perimeter runs from South Merced River Fork on the south end of Yosemite National Park, south to Millerton Lake roughly following Route 41, east to King’s Canyon National Park, and north to Inyo National Forest. See: tfr.faa.gov
Fresno County: Community of Prather. South of Little Sandy / Lodge Rd. North East of Tollhouse Rd. North of Millerton Rd. / Nicholas Rd. East Auberry Rd.
Madera County: O’Neals, Walker Grade, and Fish Camp. For a complete list of evacuation warnings, see the Sheriff’s website (QR code and complete web address in yellow highlight).
Fresno County: Prather Roundabout, Tollhouse Road at Pittman Hill Road, Maxon Road at Trimmer Springs Road, Auberry Road at Jose Basin Road, Watts Valley Road at Maxon Road, SR-168 at Lodge Road
Madera County: Road 222 at 229A, Road 222 at Road 235, Road 225 at Road 274, Road 274 to Beashore Road, Road 274 at Central Camp, Road 632 at Buckskin
Closure updates are listed at: https://www.facebook.com/MaderaSheriff/.
Temporary Evacuation Points:
Clovis North High School - 2770 East International Ave. Clovis, CA
Animal Evacuation Centers:
Small animals – Clovis North 2770 East International Ave.
Large animals – The Fresno Fairgrounds, 1121 S Chance Ave, Fresno, CA 93702, is set up to receive evacuated animals but please contact the Central California Animal Disaster Team (888-402-2238) to make arrangements so animals can be received at the fairgrounds.
Small animals – Oakhurst Community Center 39800 Road 425B Oakhurst, CA
Large animals – Producer’s Livestock Facility at Madera Farm Bureau, 1022 South Pine Street, Madera, CA
Damage Assessment Map:
Fresno County and Madera County:
To view an interactive damage assessment map for Fresno County and Madera County, open the following link:
Fresno County Sheriff 559-600-3111
Madera County Sheriff 559-658-2555
National Forest Closures:
US Forest Service temporarily closes Southern California Forests, including the Sierra National Forest. Regional Order Number 20-12 Emergency Forest Closure.
Bullfrog Fire Information:
The Bullfrog Fire is burning on the Sierra National Forest but is not related to the Creek Fire. For information about that fire, please check Inciweb: Sierra National Forest Bullfrog Fire
Water Tenders: 66
Hand Crews: 42
Total Personnel: 2,878
Air Tankers: Numerous firefighting air tankers are flying fire suppression missions as conditions allow.
North Zone: Madera County, Madera County Public Health, Madera County Fire, OES, CHP, National Park Service, PG&E, CDCR, Sothern California Edison, American Red Cross, California National Guard, California Air National Guard.
South Zone: Fresno County, Fresno County Public Health, Fresno County OES, OES, Shaver Lake Fire Department, Bald Mountain Fire Protection District, Auberry Fire Department, Huntington Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Big Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Pine Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, CHP, National Park Service, CDCR, PG&E, Sothern California Edison, American Red Cross, California National Guard, California Air National Guard.
To learn more about wildfire preparedness visit: