OAKHURST – The 320-acre Courtney Fire is now 90% contained, with an expected date for total containment of Sunday, Sept. 21.
Residents were allowed to return to their homes in the burn area on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Road 426 remains closed to the public, but is expected to be reopened within the next day or so. We will post immediately when that happens.
The number of homes destroyed has been adjusted down from 33 to 30, with 4 residences damaged, 19 outbuildings destroyed, 3 outbuildings damaged, 13 vehicles destroyed, 2 vehicles damaged and 4 recreational vehicles destroyed.
Cal Fire, in cooperation with the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, has identified the person believed to be responsible for starting the Courtney Fire. This case will be referred to the District Attorney’s Office for appropriate action.
Cal Fire has not released the name of the individual, nor indicated whether the ignition of the Courtney Fire was intentional or accidental.
The estimated cost of suppression to date is $3,400,000. Four injuries have been reported.
Work on the firelines and the interior burn area continues. There are currently 45 fire engines, 4 water tenders, 16 fire crews and 1 dozer assigned to the incident, with a total of 490 personnel. All air tankers and helicopters have been released.
Areas outside the control lines are being closely monitored for any new spot fires. The crews continue mopping up and looking for hot spots within the containment lines. Interior portions of the fire may continue to produce smoke.
Residents should remain cautious of fire personnel and equipment working in the area.
Road 426 between Summit Road and Road 223 is open to residents only. Residents must obtain an entrance pass through Madera County Sheriff at the Oakhurst Substation on Liberty Drive.
All evacuations have been lifted, and the Red Cross Center at the Oakhurst Community Center has been closed down, though there are many resources available to residents affected by the fire.
Residents who need more information on the recovery process can call Madera County Office of Emergency Services at 559–675–7770.
Residents are encouraged to register for emergency alerts within Madera County at www.mcalert.org or 559–675–7770, and within Mariposa County by visiting the Sheriff’s Office website at http://www.mariposacounty.org/index.aspx?NID=82
Anyone needing more information can go to www.fire.ca.gov or contact the Courtney Fire Information Line at 209–966–4784.