FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — The Creek Fire grew to 228,025 acres Wednesday and containment remained at 18%.
Crews are now surveying the destruction and reported more than 740 structures have been wiped out, but the true extent of the damage might not be known for weeks.
Damage assessment teams have surveyed 57% of the area, but there are still places they’re not able to get to yet.
“In the beginning, a few days into the fire, we could not let the damage assessment teams out into the fire areas to assess the structures because of safety reasons,” Seth Brown a Cal Fire battalion chief and spokesperson said.
Crews are now making their way through the devastation as they are able to gain access.
“You know it’s going to be emotionally difficult for owners to view their damaged or destroyed properties,” Jean Rousseau Fresno County’s Administrative Officer said at a media update.
Teams are looking for homes and other structures, checking for damage, gathering information and taking pictures.
“Once it comes back, then I take it, do some quality control to it and pass it along to counties in affected jurisdictions,” Will Brewerof Cal Fire said.
As of Wednesday night 742 structures have been confirmed destroyed, but damage assessment teams are still limited by which areas they can access and a timeframe on when the survey will be complete is not set in stone.
“It does depend on the fire behavior and those tree falling crews that are working ahead of the damage assessment teams. There’s a lot of trees to be taken care of that may be hazardous,” Brown said.
Meanwhile crews are making progress on the ground. Firing operations are underway in Cherry Valley where they’re hoping to cut off the fire before it burns through Blue Canyon, keeping it from heading back toward Shaver Lake.
There are around 2,800 personnel fighting the fire right now with more coming in all the time, by Thursday morning there may be 3,000 personnel on the scene.
The Red Cross is assisting those impacted by the California Wildfires. You can help. Click this link to donate online: https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/ksee24-pub.html/