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Creek Fire: Campers warned not to seek shelter as wildfire rages in Northern California



The Creek Fire burning in the Sierra National Forest exploded, said Dan Tune, information officer for the US Forest Service.

The fire lit in the forest south of Yosemite National Park on Friday night and grew to 36,000 acres by Saturday night. A helicopter with a public address system warned the group at the lake.

The Mammoth Pool Reservoir is a popular recreation spot, but Tune was unable to provide an estimate of how many people were instructed to seek refuge on-site.

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that 150 people were trapped at the Mammoth Pool Campground.

“Emergency crews from several agencies must concentrate on the crucial task ̵

1; rescuing the 150 or so people who seek shelter on site when the Mammoth Pool Boat starts,” the post said. “We are in contact with those seeking refuge at Mammoth Pool Reservoir, and although they have reported ten injuries, they can safely seek refuge at this point.”

Campsites across the area are subject to mandatory evacuation orders, but the way out has been compromised.

“The fire goes uphill, as does the road. We didn’t want campers trying to move through an area where fire is likely,” said Tune.

An air tanker drops fire retardant on wildfire in the Sierra National Forest.

The devastating fire is burning aggressively and temperatures in the area are approaching 100 degrees, Tune said.

“This is in a river canyon so you get the canyon winds up in the afternoon,” noted Tune, adding that sustained winds are around 10 to 15 miles per hour.

According to the forest service, around 450 firefighters are fighting the fire together with three helicopters and three air tankers.

There have been some cases of restricted visibility from the smoke, but planes and helicopters continued to fight the fire from the air, Tune said.

“The pillar in a fire like this can be quite dangerous, so the plane had to step back for a while and come back whenever conditions changed,” he said.


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