Creek Fire damages hundreds of buildings, bear visits standing neighborhood

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FRESNO COUNTY, California. (KSEE) — The Creek Fire continued to threaten around 9,400 buildings on Friday. Hundreds of buildings have been destroyed and over 60 are damaged by the blazing inferno that started almost two weeks ago.

“We have 755 destroyed and 62 damaged,” said Cal Fire Spokesperson Edwin Zuniga. The damage assessment is around 60% completed.

A propane tank, bicycle, and truck crushed by what used to be a garage paint the picture of devastation on Honey Lane off of Auberry Road. Melted siding left behind on one of the few homes in the area that weathered the storm.

Cecy Mitchell and her family evacuated from their home in the Ridgetop subdivision two weeks ago.

“As soon as I saw Cressman’s,” said Mitchell. “I thought for sure my home was gone because my house is five minutes from Cressman’s.”

Thankfully, the home was left untouched by the blaze, but someone did go through her garbage. A ring video from the first day of the fire showed the suspected culprit, a bear that sniffed around the house.

“When I saw my home I was like (sigh), a weight had been lifted,” said Mitchell. “And then I saw the garbage and I was like oh my gosh the bear is still around. It made me giggle because we hear that animals know. I think he knew our neighborhood was safe.”

Firefighters have not seen a bear around but several garbages in the Shaver Lake area have been ravaged.

While animals might feel safe, people are not because of the number of hazardous trees. Crews are working by using a machine called a feller bencher to clear out hazardous trees.

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/

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