Re­turn to nor­ma­cly be­gins

Porterville Recorder - - OPINION -

At 6 p.m. to­day, peo­ple who have been liv­ing out of suit­cases since the start of the Pier Fire in the early morn­ing hours of Aug. 29 can re­turn to their homes in the moun­tain com­mu­ni­ties above Springville.

The fire has burned more than 30,000 acres and was 60 per­cent con­tained as of Wed­nes­day morn­ing. They es­ti­mate hav­ing it fully con­tained by the mid­dle of next week.

Tu­lare County of­fi­cials an­nounced Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon that those ar­eas would be placed un­der a vol­un­tary evac­u­a­tion or­der in place of the manda­tory or­der that was is­sued in the first hours of the fire.

The hill won’t be open to ev­ery­one, only to res­i­dents that can prove they live up there. And for some they will need to use the back way, through Pon­derosa, to get back home.

High­way 190 from the Tule Power House up to Pier­point Springs will re­main closed to al­low for fire crews to mop-up and for util­ity crews to re­store power. This is a sound move as the last thing we need is for peo­ple to get in the way of the crews.

Of­fi­cials also right­fully so stressed that con­di­tions could change quickly and for peo­ple to be ready to get out if asked to do so again.

We know not ev­ery­one left when the manda­tory evac­u­a­tion was put in place last month, but it was good to hear that most did.

Now, be­gins the road to nor­malcy for the res­i­dents of Alpine Vil­lage, Camp Nel­son, Cedar Slope, Doyle Springs, Moun­tain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pier­point Springs, Se­quoia Crest and Wis­hon.

It’s not go­ing to be easy and a lot of dump­sters are go­ing to be filled along the way.

But be­fore it’s too late, please take a mo­ment to thank ev­ery­one that has helped fight the big­gest wild­fire in the area this year.

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