OAKHURST – The Courtney Fire is now 50% contained at 320 acres. As of 6 p.m. tonight, the evacuation order has been lifted for residents along Summit Drive and Skyline Drive, and on Road 222 along the south shore of Bass Lake.
Other evacuations remain in place, and Road 426 is still closed between Summit Drive and Road 223.
There are currently 73 engines, 11 water tenders, 10 fire crews and 8 bulldozers assigned to the incident, for a total of 560 personnel. All air tankers and helicopters have been released.
Damage assessment teams have determined that 33 residences have been destroyed. Some 35 residents were escorted through the fire area today to view the damage for themselves.
The cause of the fire, which started on Sunday, Sept. 14, remains under investigation.
Firefighters are continuing to build and reinforce containment lines and knock down hot spots, and the threat to the Bass Lake Heights community remains. PG&E, Sierra Tel and other crews worked throughout the day to repair damaged poles and interface equipment. Firefighters identified hazard trees and marked them for removal.
Currently, 200 structures with approximately 600 residents living in the Bass Lake Heights community are still under an evacuation order.
Residents should remain cautious of fire personnel and equipment working in the area, and traveling to and from the fire lines.
Road 426 between Summit Road and Road 223
Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Road 425B
Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, USFS, CAL OES, Madera County Fire Department, Madera County Sheriff’s Department, PG&E, Red Cross, Sierra Telephone, CHP, Hillview Water District, and Local Government Resources within the Central Valley.
Residents who need more information can go to www.fire.ca.gov or contact the Courtney Fire Information Line at 209-966-4784.
Everyone is encouraged to register for emergency alerts within Madera County at www.mcalert.org or 559-675-7770.