Pier Fire Evac or­ders changed

Res­i­dents can re­turn at 6 p.m. to­day

Porterville Recorder - - FRONT PAGE - recorder@porter­villere­corder.com

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.

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