Firefighters continue to make progress on containing the Railroad Fire

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. It's burning a little more than 11,600 acre and destroyed 17 structures (KFSN)

Firefighters are making progress as they get more containment on the Railroad Fire-- its burned a little more than 11,600 acres and destroyed 17 structures. U.S. forest officials say five of those structures were homes-- another five were historical sites while the rest were outbuildings.

Firefighters are carrying several pounds of hose, battling the heat while trying to strengthen the defense lines between the fire and the homes nearby.

"As the fire backs downhill, we have hoses in place to help support it when it gets close to the Sierra Valley area," said Chris Trindade, firefighter.

Meanwhile, more than 900 fire crews are focusing on containing the most active parts of the fire near big Sandy and Nelder Grove.

Several evacuees, like Jerry Jensen, are still taking shelter at the Red Cross as the blaze continues to burn.

"We're ready to go back home the same day--it's nice here but it's not home," said Jensen.

Madera County Sheriff's Deputies are trying to get hundreds of residents ready to go home and they are asking evacuees to bring in proof that they are a resident of the area. In return, they will get a permit that will allow them to quickly move through security when evacuations orders are lifted for residents.

"This gives our deputies a chance to verify who they are, make sure they live in the evacuation area and make sure they are the right person getting in, because when we do repopulate we're going to hold the area for 24 hours because we want the residents to be able to reevaluate what's going on," said Sergeant Joseph Wilder, Madera County Sheriff's Office.

Forest Service Officials say do not know when residents will be able to go home, but if defense lines stay strong, they say, residents will be able to return soon.
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