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Rapidly Growing Creek Fire Forces Evacuation of North Fork



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The Madera County mountain community of North Fork was ordered to evacuate at 2 p.m. on Monday as winds fanned the growth of the Creek Fire.

North Fork is about 10 miles southeast of Bass Lake and 14 miles from Oakhurst.

The community is home to the tribal headquarters of the Northfork Rancheria of Mono Indians and the Sierra Mono Museum.

Madera County Sheriff’s deputies are going door to door to tell residents about the evacuation order.

The Creek Fire, which started Friday at 6:21 p.m. near Camp Sierra, grew to 78,790 acres, with no containment over Sunday and into Monday morning, Cal Fire officials said.

The massive containment effort now involves 10 crews totaling nearly 1,000 firefighting personnel, according to Cal Fire.

There are 117 fire engines, 11 bulldozers, seven helicopters, and four water tenders involved in battling the fire, which is on both sides of the San Joaquin River near Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake, and Big Creek in Fresno County, and Mammoth Pool in Madera County.

Evacuation Order for Auberry on Monday Morning

At 10:50 a.m. Monday, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office — acting on the advice of Cal Fire — ordered the immediate evacuation of Auberry because of the Creek Fire.

The order was for all residents in the area bounded by Auberry Road to Powerhouse Road, Highway 168, Lodge Road, and Little Sandy Road.

Auberry is near Little Sandy Creek between Prather and the bottom of the Highway 168 four-lane. The foothill community is at an elevation of 2,018 feet.

It has a population of about 2,500 people, many of them Native Americans. The Mono Wind Casino is in Auberry.

The other Fresno County mandatory evacuation orders are listed below:

— Shaver Lake down to Cressman Road, including Cressman Road
— Big Creek
— Huntington Lake
— Camp Sierra
— High Sierra areas, which include Florence Lake, Ward Lake, Portal Forebay, Edison Lake Mono Hot Springs, Kaiser, and all campgrounds.
— The area west of Tollhouse, along Auberry Road west to Powerhouse Road.
— Alder Springs, Mile High, Meadow Lakes, Big Sandy, Mono Wind Casino, Jose Basin, and Italian Bar.
— Dinkey Creek, Wishon, and Courtright reservoirs.
— Tollhouse Road at Peterson Road down to Lodge Road
— Beal Fire Road
— Powerhouse Road to the San Joaquin River

Vehicle Exit Routes

— Those who are between Shaver Lake and Dinkey Creek should exit toward Pine Flat Lake via Providence Creek Road.
— Those who are in the area of Dinkey Creek and Courtright / Wishon reservoirs should exit toward Pine Flat Lake via Black Rock Road.
— The exit routes above are dirt roads. They are not passable with RV trailers, so drop your trailer at a safe location before leaving.

Photo of the Creek Fire

Members of the Laguna Hotshots, out of the Cleveland National Forest, walk down a hillside while fighting the Creek Fire, Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020, in Big Creek. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)