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Containment gains in Creek Fire

Cal Fire authorities are continuing to contain the largest wildfire in the state’s history battling the Creek Fire.

According to Cal Fire, the 44-day-old Creek Fire has burned over 350,000 acres and is now 61 percent contained, as of Monday.

There was no fire growth in the northern, Madera County section of the Creek Fire over the weekend.

Crews will continue to improve and strengthen fire lines and patrol and mop up, looking for any activity that may threaten the control lines, according to Cal Fire’s website. Any unburned islands that have the potential to spot outside the control lines will be mopped up as well. Hazard trees in work areas and near the fire line will continue to be cut. Work to improve access to roads and to fall hazard trees will also continue.

At the far north end of the fire, it has burned into the granite outcrops of the high country and continues to creep and burn any available fuels, but forward progression has stopped. Because of access issues and safety concerns this area will be monitored by air and infrared heat flights.

In the southern Fresno County zone, fire activity remained overnight on the eastern part of the fir. An inferred flight detected small areas of growth and spotting. Crews continue to scout out areas southwest of Mammoth Lakes to determine fire suppression needs.

Crews will continue mopping up hotspot on the interior of the fire.

High pressure will remain along the West Coast for the next several days keeping the strong track well to the north and conditions dry over the district through this week. By this weekend, a trough of low pressure will dive in the Great Basin bringing cooler and windier weather along with a slight chance of rain and snow to the Sierra Saturday night and Sunday. In the short term, expect little change in temperature and humidity trends with winds remaining terrain driven. Expect an uptick in winds this weekend.

The Madera County Sheriff’s office is contacting property owners about their property damage. Yosemite National Park opened in late September, but Sierra National Forrest will be closed through Nov. 1.

The fire has destroyed 983 structures and damaged 71 others. There have been 26 confirmed injuries.

There are 958 fire personnel assigned to the fire, a fraction of the more than 3,000 during the fire’s peak. In addition, 13 helicopters, 30 engines, 11 dozers and 35 water tenders are still assigned to the fire.

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