Updated September 7, 2020 | 12:41 p.m. PDT
The Creek Fire Sunday grew in all directions but not as much to the north as might be expected after it ran for over 10 miles in that direction during its first 22 hours. The blaze spread south near the west shore of Shaver Lake but according to mapping at 12:05 a.m. Monday stayed primarily west of Highway 168.
The Incident management team reported at 10:47 a.m. Monday the fire had burned 78,790 acres.
August 6, 2020 | 4:54 p.m. PDT
The perimeter of the Creek Fire on the map above was supplied by the incident management team and is much more accurate than data from satellites. The Forest Service reports it has burned 45,500 acres.
Early Saturday afternoon the fire crossed the San Joaquin River and made a run north to the Mammoth Pool area and beyond. Members of the public sheltered in place near Wagner’s Store and Campground and Mammoth Pool Reservoir. Using helicopters, the California Army National Guard safely evacuated 207 people that were trapped by the fire.
The fire burned actively overnight Saturday and into Sunday morning. Firefighters were challenged Sunday by steep rugged terrain, heavy fuel loading, and high temperatures. Additional resources have been ordered including a Type 1 Incident Management Team. Evacuations and closures remain in effect.
The Creek Fire that started at about 6 p.m. September 5 near Big Creek in the Sierra Mountains northeast of Fresno, California grew explosively to 36,000 acres in about 22 hours.
The fire raced 10 miles north across the Sierra National Forest reaching Mammoth Pool Reservoir making roads impassible and trapping hundreds of people at the Boat Launch who had been enjoying the Labor Day weekend.
By 1 a.m. , ABC7 reported, military Blackhawk helicopters had evacuated at least 163 people and flown them to the National Guard Base at the Fresno Airport. From there ambulances took 20, some with critical burn injuries, to hospitals. Others were transported to the Fresno Convention Center. The rescue operation continued into the night.
(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Creek Fire, including the most recent, click HERE.)
CAL FIRE said the Blackhawks were rescuing 20 at a time who were then checked out and triaged by personnel staffing the 10 Fresno County Fire Protection District units and one Clovis FD unit at the airport.
The Creek Fire started in the Huntington Lake, Shaver Lake area near Big Creek and Camp Sierra.
Weather stations on Saturday recorded wind speeds of zero to 7 mph, surprisingly low for a fire that grew explosively. But the temperature and humidity at North Fork tell a different story, where the temperature reached 108 degrees and the humidity dropped to 9 percent in the afternoon. Those conditions coupled with dry fuels and no recent history of fire in the area help explain why the blaze burned 36,000 acres during its first 22 hours.