Pier Fire Evac orders changed
Residents can return at 6 p.m. today
Later today, people with homes in mountain communities above Springville will be allowed to return, the U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday afternoon.
Many of those heading back to their homes have been uprooted since the fire started back in the early morning hours of Aug. 29. The fire has burned 30,571 acres as of Wednesday morning and was 60 percent contained.
At 6 p.m. today, the communities of Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Doyle Springs, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Sequoia Crest and Wishon will be under voluntary evacuation orders. Previously, they were under a mandatory evacuation.
Carrie Monteiro, a public information officer with the County of Tulare, stated that residents may return, but noted that conditions may change quickly and force officials to re-issue mandatory status if necessary.
Returning residents must show proof of residency to posted law enforcement to gain access. Proper documentation, Monteiro said, must include the resident’s name and residency address within the impacted area.
Examples include driver’s license with residency address, utility bill that includes resident’s name and residency address, or address documentation from the U.S. Post Office for those that utilize a post office box.
Residents returning to Doyle Springs and Wishon can use Highway 190 at Upper Rio Vista and continue along County Road 208.
All other residents must use the Western Divide Highway through Ponderosa to access the area and must also show proof of residency to law enforcement located at Upper Rio Vista Road and at Forest Road 21S50.
Monteiro said a portion of Highway 190 will remain closed to all traffic from the Tule Power House to Pierpoint Springs. She said returning residents should show extreme caution and be aware of potential safety hazards such as falling rocks and fire-weakened trees, downed broken/burned tree limbs and heavy equipment along roadways. She said residents should also be cautious with smoke inhalation.
Southern California Edison (SCE) has begun to restore power to various areas affected by the Pier Fire. Impacted residents may contact SCE at (800) 611-1911 for further information.
Evaluation of community water systems, Monteiro said, is currently underway and being monitored by local water officials.
Monteiro said dumpsters will be available for residents to dispose of any spoiled food, trash or debris at Camp Nelson Fire Station, 1500 Nelson Drive. She said dumpsters will be available from Sept. 1417. The American Red Cross will also be posted at the Camp Nelson Fire Station providing assistance in supplying clean-up materials such as shovels and rakes for residents from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Sept. 15-17.
For more information, call 636-5496.
A total 1,583 personnel, 31 crews, eight helicopters, 94 engines, 17 dozers and 16 water tenders are working to contain the fire fully, which is estimated to occur at approximately midnight on Wednesday, Sept. 20.