MADERA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Crews in Madera have been working nonstop as they continue to clean up the brush and trash along the Fresno River.
This comes after a fire broke out last week destroying two homes and damaging two others on Riverview Drive.
“I hope they stay on course and it would sure make me sleep better at night,” said neighbor David Lee.
Lee lives near the Fresno River not far from where the fire broke out.
“Since this fire happened, it really enticed them not only to get the tons of trash hauled out of there but the trees and brush and all that other stuff is gone also,” added Lee.
The Madera City Manager says they got to work on Friday and it’s been a process.
“We’re going to continue until we provide adequate fire breaks along the river,” said City Manager Arnoldo Rodriguez.
He says they’ve already removed 137 tons of trash since March from the four miles of river that runs along the city, but last week’s fire made the matter more urgent than before.
“There are some places that are inaccessible by the heavy machinery and we’re deploying hand crews to those areas. However, the other areas are far more accessible with heavy equipment, we deployed that equipment today,” added Rodriguez.
As for the homeless that live on the river that many believe started the fires, officials say they have a plan.
“We’re currently working with the County of Madera. We do have a crisis intervention team at our police department and one of the things we’re trying to do, is were trying to connect the people to the available resources here in the county to try to find shelter for those individuals,” said Rodriguez.
Officials say crews have run into a couple of roadblocks clearing the overgrown brush.
“One thing we’ve noticed every day we’ve run into something slightly a little bit different. So as we’re trying to go through it, we’re just trying to make sure we have the right equipment and right personnel,” said Rodriguez.
The city manager said they don’t have a timeline on when work will be done, and that they’ll be out on the river working for as long as it takes to make sure homes in the area are safe.