FRESNO COUNTY, California (KSEE) — Fire crews continued to try to establish containment lines on the Creek Fire as it exploded in size and spread across counties Saturday.
The fire sparked around 6 p.m. Friday, according to Sierra National Forest spokesman Daniel Tune, in the Camp Sierra area between Shaver Lake and Huntington Lake.
The latest report from Tune shows the fire is not contained at all. It has spread from Fresno County into Madera and Mariposa counties.
The scariest situation so far has come out of the Madera County side of the fire in the Mammoth Pool Reservoir area. There the fire cut off the area’s only exit, trapping 150 people, according to the Madera County Sheriff’s Office.
At least 63 of those people were rescued and transported to the Fresno-Yosemite International Airport. The Fresno Fire Department said possibly 20 of them were critically injured.
For many locals, it’s a surprise how fast this fire is spreading.
“I remember the French Fire a few years back, it took quite a while to get to the 5,000-acre mark,” Madera County résident Richard Kegg said.
Two evacuation points were set up in Prather and North Fork by the American Red Cross Central California chapter. At least 50 individuals and families stopped by for assistance.
“We can see what’s the best plan for them tonight. Will they be staying with friends and family? Will they need a hotel? We can help meet those needs once they come here to meet with us,” said Nicole Maul, public information officer for the chapter.
As the smoke continued to billow into the sky, the foothill communities rallied together. David Rivas, who lives near the Prather evacuation point, offered up five acres of his land for evacuees in case the Red Cross needed the extra space.
An act of paying it forward, when his house burned down three years ago.
“When my house burned down, the community came through like a champ, mean, I couldn’t, it’s kind of an emotional thing, but it’s like, wow, I’ve met my best friends from my house fire.”
Aside from updates on YourCentralValley, you can also download the Red Cross app for the latest evacuation information. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS.