Return to normacly begins
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.