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A change in weather brought some light drizzle to the area of the Creek Fire, but Cal Fire says it wasn’t near enough to dampen the growth of the blaze.

Cal Fire information officer Chris Thompson tells GV Wire℠ they’re expecting 35-45 MPH gusts on the northern part of the fire today which is a concern. Thompson says the good news is they’ve been able to fly helicopters to attack the fire the last couple of days.

The fire started September 4 and has now consumed 248,256 acres, and firefighters have it 20% contained. The Creek Fire is now the 10th largest wildfire in California history according to Cal Fire’s daily wildfire report.

804 residential, commercial and other structures have been destroyed.

Crews should get a morale boost with the anticipated arrival of marines and sailors this weekend.

Weather Impact

“Right now, we’ve got some light drizzle throughout parts of the fire,” says Thompson. “It’s not affecting the actual fire behavior because it’s not a dampening to get into the undergrowth.”

With the expected winds on the north end of the fire, Thompson was happy to report his teams continued to build containment lines which kept the fire from jumping substantially in acreage over the last 24 hours.

With improving weather conditions, Thompson says they have 15 helicopters available to fly today and they should be able to access all areas of the fire. There are about 3,000 firefighters working to contain the fire.

Cloudy skies with light rain over Yosemite on Friday morning. (Courtesy/Yosemite Conservancy Webcam)

Military Arrival

The Marine unit, the 7th Engineer Support Battalion from Camp Pendleton, will assist with wildland fire response efforts on the Creek Fire in the Sierra National Forest.

Marines and sailors from the unit will be fitted for personal protective equipment, including fire retardant clothing, boots, gloves and hard hats, and are scheduled to arrive Saturday to receive hands-on training in fire suppression.

Thompson says, “The Marine Corps is bringing around 200 people. They’ll split into two crews and do some training to get up to speed with what’s been happening over the last week or so.” He says the arrival of the team will definitely add to firefighter morale.

“The 1st Marine Logistics Group is ready to assist our community during the California wildfire crisis,” said Brig. Gen. Bobbi Shea in a press release. “Alongside federal agencies, and state and local partners, 1st MLG will provide highly capable Marines and Sailors to assist in wildland fire suppression efforts.”

Drone Helps Hotshot Crew

The clearing weather allowed crews to bring a drone to help the Arrowhead Hotshot crew in an area just south of Shaver Lake on Thursday.

“The situation with the drone gives us the ability to have aerial recon of a certain area,” said Thompson. “If there’s something specific to a smaller section of a fire want to look at, we can put a drone in the air and get an aerial view.”

Thompson says the drone was used to see some of the more difficult terrain to access on foot. “It’s something fairly new we’ve been utilizing on fires,” he adds.

More Madera County Residents Allowed to Return Home

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office is allowing more residents to return home as evacuation orders have been reduced to warnings.

Residents of these areas can now return: Cascadel Road between Peckinpah Acres Drive and end of the subdivision, including all spur roads such as Cascadel Heights Drive, GR Trestle Court, Loma Linda Drive, Loma Linda Lane, Vista Drive West, Hillside Road, Cascadel Drive, Cascadel Lane, Cascadel Drive North, Cascadel Drive South, and Waterfall Way.

Evacuation Orders for M7 have been reduced to Evacuation Warnings. Residents in the area need to be aware that there is…

Posted by Madera County Sheriff's Office on Friday, September 18, 2020

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