MADERA COUNTY, California (KSEE) – Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue declared a local state of emergency Wednesday, as winter weather could mean mudslides in the Creek Fire burn scar area – most of which is under an evacuation warning.
With county resources already strained, once ratified, the local state of emergency would allow for state and federal assistance.
“That will go in front of the Madera County Board of Supervisors Tuesday for ratification and an official proclamation,” said Sheriff Pogue.
Pogue says his office is closely monitoring water levels and soil movement in the area and asking residents to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice. For residents choosing not to evacuate, they should be stocked up on supplies and be prepared to self sustain for an extended period of time.
“If the roads does wash out, they may be cut off for some time. Access by emergency services might be limited, as well as the residents’ ability to go out and get supplies,” said Sheriff Pogue.
The Sheriffs Office has already performed three search and rescue operations since Friday. Two campers stranded in the Bass Lake area Tuesday afternoon were found safe and reunited with their families after several hours.
“Our resources are already stretched thin, so we really are asking people if they don’t need to be out, please don’t go out. This is not a great time to go out and recreate. It’s very dangerous,” said Sheriff Pogue. “You could easily get trapped up there on the back of one of these forest roads and have to stay in your car for an extended period of time.”