SHAVER LAKE, California (KSEE) — While the Creek Fire surpassed the milestone of 300,000 acres Sunday, dozens of evacuation orders were also lifted. The majority of them covered the Shaver Lake area, where everyone is just happy to be back.
The Creek Fire grew to 302,870 acres and remained 39% contained, per the latest report.
Public information officer Dave Maschak said it was a combination of heat, low humidity, and winds that helped give embers the chance to grow.
Bob Levinson was one of many who headed back to the Shaver Lake area once more than two dozen zones were cleared to repopulate the area by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
While embers did fall on his porch, scorching a door mat, his family’s cabin is fairly unscathed. Levinson really didn’t think he’d see this important piece of his family’s history again.
“There’s a bunch of writing on the wall on the inside…it says built by my grandpa, my dad, my brother and I,” he said. Levinson’s family cabin has been in Shaver Lake since 1954.
Especially after seeing what happened to Cressman’s and the area surrounding that.
“I really thought it was gonna jump up here,” Levinson said. “So I called everybody, I said, I think [the cabin is] gonna go down.”
While winds helped the Creek Fire grow to more than 300,000 acres, winds are now expected to go against the direction of the fire from the northeast. It’s expected to give crews some relief, according to Maschak.
“It slows down the spread of the fire, that’s the big thing there. It gives them a chance to do what they gotta do…whatever they need to stop it,” Maschak said.
As the fight against the Creek Fire continues, Levinson’s heart will be with firefighters on the frontline — saying there’s not enough thanks to give.
When asked what he would say to firefighters, Levinson got emotional, saying, “You put your life on the line for me and you don’t even know me.”
Due to the damage to Shaver Lake’s water and sewage systems, it’s important for anyone going back to the Shaver Lake area to conserve water. Below is a list to keep in mind for anyone going back to their property weeks after evacuating, from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office
- Slow down as speed limits will be reduced.
- Watch out for all utility work zones.
- Hazards, like burned trees, will be in the area for months to come.
- Your water will not be safe to consume or use for cooking until you receive personal notification.
- Be prepared for intermittent water outages, power outages, and potentially wastewater service interruptions.
- Some areas will not have communications restored for some time.
- You can report any hazards to Fresno County at 559-600-4636.