Pier Fire 70% con­tained

Re­turn­ing res­i­dents ad­vised to use cau­tion

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

Although 70 per­cent of the Pier Fire is con­tained, of­fi­cials en­cour­age res­i­dents re­turn­ing to their homes to use ex­treme cau­tion as the re­main­der of the 31,454-acre fire is un­con­tained and ac­tive, the U.S. For­est Ser­vice re­ported.

Although 70 per­cent of the Pier Fire is con­tained, of­fi­cials en­cour­age res­i­dents re­turn­ing to their homes to use ex­treme cau­tion as the re­main­der of the 31,454acre fire is un­con­tained and ac­tive, the U.S. For­est Ser­vice re­ported.

As of 6 p.m. Thurs­day, there are no manda­tory evac­u­a­tions. Res­i­dents may re­turn to com­mu­ni­ties un­der vol­un­tary evac­u­a­tion, said Denise Alonzo, the pub­lic af­fairs of­fi­cer for the U.S. For­est Ser­vice.

Alonzo said only prop­erty own­ers and res­i­dents are per­mit­ted to re­turn at this time. She said re­turn­ing res­i­dents must show proof of res­i­dency to posted law en­force­ment to gain ac­cess. Ex­am­ples of ac­cepted doc­u­men­ta­tion, Alonzo said, in­clude driver’s li­cense with res­i­dency ad­dress, util­ity bill with name and res­i­dency ad­dress, or PO Box doc­u­men­ta­tion from the U.S. Post Of­fice.

Alonzo said com­mu­ni­ties un­der a vol­un­tary evac­u­a­tion in­clude Alpine Vil­lage, Camp Nel­son, Cedar Slope, Doyle Springs, Moun­tain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pier­point Springs, Se­quoia Crest, and Wis­hon.

“Re­turn­ing res­i­dents to their prop­erty is a pri­or­ity,” Alonzo said.

As res­i­dents re­turn to their homes, Alonzo said they should note that although High­way 190 is a vi­tal thor­ough­fare to lo­cals, it is also a steep and treach­er­ous mid-slope road.

She added that the Pier Fire is cur­rently burning above the road, caus­ing burning de­bris to fre­quently roll onto and across the road­way with the po­ten­tial of ig­nit­ing un­burned veg­e­ta­tion be­low, mak­ing many por­tions un­safe for travel.

Alonzo said dead trees that re­cently lined the road­side are now dead and burned. She said there are a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of those trees that need to be cut down to pre­vent in­jury or death.

Alonzo said many Se­quoia Na­tional For­est roads and trails re­main closed for the rea­sons men­tioned above. Upon re­turn­ing home, she said res­i­dents may find con­di­tions slightly dif­fer­ent than when they left. She said fire­fight­ers may have “prepped” homes, re­mov­ing ig­ni­tion sources from the im­me­di­ate prox­im­ity of them.

She added that res­i­dents may no­tice fire hose and other equip­ment in their neigh­bor­hoods. She en­cour­ages all res­i­dents to leave them in place. She noted that they will be re­moved when there is no chance of them be­ing used.

Alonzo said ac­tive fire and smoke may be vis­i­ble from houses. She said fire­fight­ers are aware of the fire’s cur­rent lo­ca­tion and be­hav­ior, and noted that they will con­tinue to mon­i­tor the fire near res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

Even though power is re­stored to most com­mu­ni­ties — some through tem­po­rary gen­er­a­tors — Alonzo said many power lines have been de­stroyed in the fire. She said re­turn­ing res­i­dents may ex­pe­ri­ence tem­po­rary road clo­sures and de­lays through Oct. 1 while South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Edi­son (SCE) re­places and re­strings dam­aged power lines.

Alonzo said all re­turn­ing res­i­dents should be aware that there are still ac­tive por­tions of the Pier Fire. She said fire crews are us­ing all roads in and around the fire as well as roads be­tween base camp and var­i­ous drop points. She said res­i­dents should be pa­tient and drive with cau­tion.

Alonzo said fire en­gines and doz­ers are large and slow and of­ten stop in lo­ca­tions un­usual to nor­mal traf­fic flow.

“Although many of you are re­turn­ing home, be sen­si­tive to your neigh­bors on the south­ern part of the fire who are ge­o­graph­i­cally still af­fected by the ac­tive fire,” Alonzo said.

In terms of road clo­sures, Alonzo said High­way 190 is closed to all pub­lic be­tween County Road 208 and Pier­point Springs. She said High­way 190 be­tween Up­per Rio Vista Road and County Road 208 is a hard clo­sure for non­res­i­dents, and a soft clo­sure for res­i­dents with photo ID and proof of res­i­dency.

Alonzo said High­way 190 be­tween Pier­point Springs and Pon­derosa is a hard clo­sure for non­res­i­dents and a soft clo­sure for res­i­dents with photo ID and proof of res­i­dency.

A to­tal 1,493 per­son­nel, 29 crews, eight he­li­copters, 94 en­gines, 11 doz­ers and 13 wa­ter tenders are work­ing to con­tain the fire fully, which is es­ti­mated to oc­cur at ap­prox­i­mately mid­night on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 20.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.