SHAVER LAKE, Fresno County (CBS SF) – The Creek Fire burning in the Sierra National Forest northeast of Fresno continued to rage without any containment Thursday, consuming more than 175,000 acres since it started late last week.
Cal Fire announced in its Thursday morning update that the fire has burned 175,893 acres (274.8 square miles), an area nearly six times the size of San Francisco. Expected full containment is not expected until at least the middle of October.
More than 360 structures have been destroyed, and more than 14,000 structures remain threatened.
Spokesperson Daniel Ramey said in a Thursday morning update that their top priorities include the area southeast of Shaver Lake, where the fire was burning towards Dinkey Creek. Another top priority was the western flank of the fire east of Bass Lake.
— Fabiola Ramirez (@FabRamirezTV) September 10, 2020
Ramey also said they had a “very productive day” on Wednesday in regards to attacking the fire from the air.
“We had a lot of helicopters in the air, working with the crews on the ground, getting a lot of retardant on the ground with the fixed wing,” he said.
Ramey said they hope to get more aircraft to operate once the smoke lifts Thursday.
According to the Cal Fire spokesperson, the Creek Fire is one of 28 major wildfires burning in California as of Thursday and urged Californians to be prepared.
“This is very serious fire season already, we encourage you to be ready, be vigilant,” Ramey concluded.
The Creek Fire started Saturday night. Soon after the flames started, hundreds of Labor Day campers near Mammoth Pool became stranded when flames blocked the only road out. Helicopters from the National Guard were brought in to airlift more than 200 campers to safety.
Crews staged more dramatic helicopter rescues in the following days, saving dozens more campers from Edison Lake and China Peak.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.