Signs of fire progression as firefighters move out of Sierra High command center

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FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Home to firefighters for nearly a month now, the incident command post at Sierra High school is downsizing to let the community back in.

“The Sierra High school officials need to get ready for potential school reopening,” said Seth Brown, the Battalion Chief for Cal Fire and information officer for the Creek Fire.

Sierra High School has been closed for nearly eight months due to both the pandemic and the Creek Fire.  As firefighters move out, the school hopes to open back up for students at the end of October.

“We are so excited to get our kids back to school and get everybody back to work and try to get some normalcy with all the craziness that’s been going on,” said Melissa Wintersteen, the Maintenance Clerk at the Sierra Unified School District.

Firefighters and support personnel called the Sierra High campus home for weeks, but in a few days, only around 20 information officers will be on the school site.

“We were very happy to be able to help everybody here, but with them leaving that just shows that they’ve got control of this fire and it’s just that much closer to being able to rebuild the community,” said Wintersteen.

“We did have a large footprint here, we did have a lot of traffic in the area, a lot of fire engines.  We want to try to get the community closer back to a sense of normalcy and relocating a large portion of the firefighters will kind of help that,” said Brown.

The new incident command post locations will be at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District and at a remote location near China Peak.

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