NORTH FORK — There was encouraging news this morning from the Mission Fire, burning just east of North Fork in the Cascadel area.
The size of the fire is reported at 1,025 acres – up just 20 acres from last night’s estimate, and there is 12 percent containment.
Also, Road 225 has been reopened in both directions.
There are currently 1,032 personnel assigned to the incident including 119 engines, 13 hand crews, 16 dozers and 7 water tenders.
Today there will be seven Type 1 helicopters, one Type 2 and one Type 3 over the fire.
Crews did a lot of work along the west flank of the fire that runs near Peckinpah Acres Drive last night, strengthening the line and getting that portion of the perimeter secure so resources can be diverted to other areas on the line.
The majority of the growth on the fire has occurred on the northwest corner up near Whiskey Falls Road. Fire behavior has been somewhat moderated over the past 24 hours due to favorable weather conditions.
Up along Whiskey Creek is an area of concern. More hand line is being put in there but the fire continues to move up that direction, into the Willow Fire scar.
Crews continue to patrol along east side of Cascadel Woods. There are a lot of heavy fuels outside the perimeter and they are keeping a good eye on that and strengthening the line.
A hose lay has been complete across the southern perimeter and dozer line has been tied in to the hand line there.
Crews continue protect structures, do mop-up and strengthen lines around the Cascadel residential area.
The weather has been moderate, but is not expected to continue that way. Temperatures overnight were in the mid 60s, and today will be clear with a few high clouds. By this afternoon temps will be in the high 80s, with a very slight chance of thunderstorms.
There has been very little perimeter growth relative to the size of the fire, however fuel moisture is at critically low levels. The potential for the fire to get up and run is very real, and no one working this fire is getting complacent.
People are anxious to get back home, but yesterday an incident made it very clear how dangerous conditions are. As an engine company was driving through the “green” on their way to their assigned division, a snag came down and hit the engine. They were not in the burn area. There was no report than any of the firefighters were injured, but it just reinforces how important it is to ensure that area is safe before residents return home.
Fire officials say that while there has been a lot of good progress, there is still a lot of work to do.
Cascadel Woods, Cascadel Heights and all of Road 233 remain under a mandatory evacuation, and Road 233 is closed.
Douglas Ranger Station Road is also closed and evacuated.
Road 225 has been reopened.
The Madera County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation advisory for Benedict Meadow. This includes road 7S07. Sheriff deputies will be patrolling the area to notify local campers of the evacuation advisory.
An incident information line has been set up at 1-844-668-3473.
The Mission Fire started on Sunday, Sept. 3, just after 1 p.m.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.