Weary firefighters battle on against Cedar Fire

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Firefighters continue to battle hot, dry, and windy conditions at the Cedar Fire. (KFSN)

Firefighters continue to battle hot, dry, and windy conditions at the Cedar Fire. The wildfire is burning in Tulare and Kern Counties and has grown to more than 26,000 acres, but officials said some of that burned area includes suppression actions like back burning.

"The red is getting closer to the black, and once they meet, and the smoke clears, we'll be able to let people go back home-- and we can't wait for that to happen," said Annaleasa Winter, Fire Information Officer.

In the meantime, about a dozen Tulare County mountain communities are still under mandatory evacuation orders. The community of Johnsondale is also under a voluntary evacuation order.

Wednesday, Tulare County officials confirmed the fire destroyed six cabins in the Spear Creek Summer Homes area. The cabins that were destroyed in the Cedar Fire are still in a hazardous fire area where additional burning operations are taking place in order to protect other structures. Once it's safe, damage assessment teams will go in and the homeowners will be notified. Officials said no other structures have been damaged by the fire.

"Yeah-- pretty tired. Try to get the sleep when you can," said Steven Bivins, Los Banos Firefighter.

Bivins has been on the line the last three nights. Wednesday night, his unit made sure the fire didn't get any closer to threatened towns and homes. While he rests at the rodeo grounds in Glennville, he said he feels the support of the community.

"It also makes you work a little bit harder because these people are out of their homes, they're not comfortable doing that. They're worried every day and we're just out here trying to make sure they get home safe."

There's no exact timeline for when that will happen, but fire officials said the evacuation orders are necessary. There's too much fuel, and the flames are too intense.

"At any time, this fire could blow out and run thousands of acres, and we can't stop it. It could happen, we hope it doesn't and we're preparing that it doesn't, and we're doing every suppression tactic that we have in order to prevent that," said Winter.

The total cost of the Cedar Fire is $24-million and its cause is still under investigation.

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