Shaver Lake residents on edge as Blue Fire brings back memories of devastating Creek Fire


FRESNO COUNTY, California. (KGPE) – Around 175 firefighters are continuing to battle the Blue Fire in Fresno County on Wednesday night.

The fire started around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday near Blue Canyon, south of Shaver Lake.

So far, officials say the fire has burned 400 acres and is 25% contained after it erupted overnight, torching the dry trees killed by the bark beetle.

As the Blue Fire burns, its proximity and fire behavior are bringing back memories and fear from the 2020 Creek Fire.

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

The Blue Fire crept close to the Creek Fire burn scar and a prescribed burn area, creating barriers and allowing crews to build a line around the fire.

In Shaver Lake, homeowners packed up their belongings in case they were ordered to evacuate.

“We have the trailer out here, the truck is loaded just in case,” said resident Thomas Fountaine.

Fountaine’s family won’t need to evacuate after all.  

“I’m not too worried about it now compared to last night, but still with the fourth of July coming up and other fires may happen so we just like to be ready,” said Fountaine.

And he’s helping other’s get ready too during this year’s fire season.  

“I’ve been raking up pine needles and cleaning up brushes around people’s property just to make them fire safe,” explained Fountaine.

The iconic Cressman’s General Store recently opened back up for business after it was destroyed by the Creek Fire.

“I think everyone has a kind of panic built in just because of what happened last summer,” said Cressman’s owner Ty Gillett.

Gillett says he feels lucky, but remains realistic of the fire dangers.

“The potential for Blue Canyon to turn very very disastrous is very high, so that was scary,” said Gillett.

Marquez says firefighters will continue to fight the blaze head-on to make sure the Shaver Lake area isn’t devastated by another wildfire.

“Its so early in the fire season, we are going to really have to go after this thing and mop it up so we don’t have any problems down the road if we have another wind event like we did,” explained Marquez.

With more people heading to the mountains and lakes for the fourth of July, fire officials urge people to be smart.

The cause of the blue fire, is still under investigation.

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