FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — The SQF Complex Fire took off in Tulare County over the weekend, exploding from less than 70,000 acres Saturday to over 100,000 Monday night.
Parts of Three Rivers are under a mandatory evacuation. Sheriff Mike Boudreaux is urging people to take the threat seriously.
“This is one of the worst fires that I have seen in my entire lifetime here in Tulare County,” he said.
Sequoia and parts of Inyo National Forests are up in flames.
Lily Glazier evacuated to Exeter with her family.
“Everyone was just leaving. I would call people and be like, ‘Have you left yet?’ So everyone’s just like freaking out and leaving. I see people packing their bags,” she said.
Boudreaux said the fire tore through about eight miles in 12 to 15 hours.
“When this one took off, even talking to our fire chief — It really started covering large amounts of acreage very quickly,” he said.
The fire is threatening thousands of homes and Boudreaux said an unknown number have already burned down.
“We tried to get a number on that. The problem is the area is still too hot. We can’t get in there an assess, or the fire department can’t get in there and assess and really this is not the time for assessment because they are still actively fighting this fire,” he said.
The fire is expected to make another push west, where crews will be focused on protecting structures directly in its path.
About 800 personnel are part of the containment effort, now at 12%. But with fires burning around the state, limited resources are slowing progress. And the fire has now burned for weeks.
“It’s dangerous and it’s surround homes, that people… it could be deadly,” Boudreaux said.
The Red Cross is assisting those impacted by the California Wildfires. You can help. Click this link to donate online: https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/ksee24-pub.html/