Firefighters exhausted as they protect homes from Creek Fire, destruction remind them what’s at stake


FRESNO COUNTY, California (KSEE) — Firefighters continued to work around the clock on Friday to save properties threatened by the Creek Fire.

Many crews stationed at Meadow and Shaver Lakes. Firefighters mostly cleared out the trees to protect homes by using chainsaws. Areas were too narrow or smokey to use bulldozers and aircraft.

The driver down Pine Ridge to Cressman’s road very eerie. Chimneys and garden animals all that’s left of what used to be homes.

“We want to stop the fire in many areas,” said CalFire Cpt. Chris Vestal. “Especially where it will pick up speed.”

The hundreds of building lost taking a toll on crews.

“It does affect us,” said Vestal. “We do take it personally.”

Aircraft could not make much water or retardant drops throughout the week because of the low visibility but were able to do quite a few on Wednesday.

Pink retardant covered the driveway, flower, and flag post at one home on Solitude Lane. The American flag continued to fly high on a day the country will never forget, 9/11.

Even though crews couldn’t attack by air, they did establish fire breaks on the ground.

“We have to spend a lot of time with hand crews, bulldozers, and other resources,” said Vestal.

The decimated Cressman’s road reminds them of what is at stake.

“That is what keeps us going,” said Vestal. “There is a community that needs help. We know there is a community that wants to return back to their homes. So we want to provide that to them as soon as possible.”

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