Creek Fire containment falls on ground crews as smoke limits firefighting resources

California Connection

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — As firefighters continued to get a hold of the Creek Fire in Fresno and Madera counties, they shifted their focus to digging containment lines and protecting structures that are still at risk.

Firefighters were gaining more containment on the fire Friday and they were doing everything they could to prevent more homes from being destroyed.

With containment going up, firefighters said they were going on the offensive to put the Creek Fire out.

“Our firefighters are tired,” said Creek Fire public information officer Chris Vestal. “They’re working hard but they keep coming back.”

Vestal said the threats to homes were far from over.

“The fire is definitely not out. Although right now, it has calmed down, it has the potential to flair up,” he told FOX40. “And for the fire to then make runs into some of the communities.”

That’s why the public has not been allowed back in.

But even those who lost everything in the fire wanted to come back to check their property for the little things. One family told FOX40 their father died in May and they were so glad to see the windmill he built was still standing.

Meanwhile, firefighters were still doing what they could to protect homes.

“We deploy resources into the neighborhoods where there are values at risk, things like homes, commercial buildings or infrastructure,” Vestal explained.

Smoke in the air once again meant low visibility for pilots. So, again, ground crews were being counted on to continue to build containment lines.

“There’s a lot of terrain here that bulldozers just simply can’t pass through,” Vestal said. “So, we’re using hand crews that are able to traverse the mountains and the steep slopes to actually cut line and put in good bare mineral earth that we believe will hold the fire.”

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