Dry conditions and dead trees fueling Blue Fire near Shaver Lake

Local News

FRESNO COUNTY, California. (KSEE) – Around 175 firefighters continue to battle the Blue Fire burning southeast of Shaver Lake.

The fire that started near Blue Canyon around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday is at around 400 hundred acres with 25% containment.   

Despite the dry conditions and high tree mortality due to bark beetles, U.S Forest Service officials believe they have a good handle on the blaze.

“Today’s weather didn’t materialize so the wind worked in our favor a little more and helped up with the burning period and things are looking real good,” said Sierra National Forest Division Chief Joaquin Marquez.  

Two residences were ordered to evacuate, including retired Cal Fire firefighter David Clawson’s cabin. 

Clawson decided to stay on the property because of the 30 foot clearance he created.

“Over the last few weeks, I had been raking everything up I felt secure that we had enough clearance for the fire behavior,“ said Clawson.  

During the fight to get the blaze under control, a logging truck flipped over on the four lanes, creating access issues for crews. The logs in the roadway were cleaned up and the highway is back open.  

The tree mortality on the mountain, including Blue Canyon, is a big concern for firefighters.

Ty Gillett lost the iconic Cressman’s General Store last year to the Creek Fire.

“The potential for blue canyon to turn very disastrous is very high. So that was scary,” said Gillett.  

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. and crews plan to be here through the weekend to mop up the area before the busy holiday weekend.

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