On Sunday, CAL FIRE Capt.
Richard Cordova said that more than 2,094,955 acres have burned across the state this year. That’s the size of more than 10 New York Cities.
“This is crazy. We haven’t even got into the October and November fire season, and we’ve broken the all-time record,” Cordova said. “It concerns us because we need to get these firefighters off these lines and get them breaks from battling these wildfires.”
Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue said at least 224 people were rescued from the Mammoth Pool Reservoir area after the Creek Fire blocked the only road out of the popular recreation site. About 20 evacuees had injuries ranging from broken bones to burns. Two people had to be carried on a stretcher.
“The situation only can be described as just hellish conditions out there for those poor people,” Pogue said.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office ordered everyone in the community of Shaver Lake to leave immediately Sunday. “There is an imminent threat to life and property due to the fast-moving Creek Fire,” the sheriff’s office said.
US Forest Service spokesman Dan Tune said that the ‘hellish’ inferno rapidly exploded in size since it started Friday evening in the Sierra National Forest.
It started in the forest south of Yosemite National Park and grew to 36,000 acres in just a day.By Sunday morning, the wildfire had engulfed 45,000 acres. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
Mammoth Pool Reservoir is known for camping, fishing, boating, hiking, and wildlife viewing. Last Saturday, campers at the lake were asked to take shelter after the Creek Fire blocked the only way out of the area. The group at the lake received a warning from a helicopter’s public address system.
“Fire runs uphill, as does the road out,” Tune said. “We did not want to put campers attempting to caravan through an area where the fire is likely.”
By Sunday morning, Pogue added he believed everyone had been rescued from the Mammoth Pool area. But officials plan to keep looking Sunday for others who might be stranded.
According to the Forest Service, about 450 firefighters are fighting the blaze, along with three helicopters and three air tankers.