Some residents still waiting to return home as Pier Fire continues to burn in Tulare County

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More than a hundred evacuees filled a room at Porterville College to learn more about the raging Pier Fire in Tulare County. (KFSN)

More than a hundred evacuees filled a room at Porterville College to learn more about the raging Pier Fire in Tulare County that has separated them from their homes.

Debra Frank, who was evacuated from her home, said, "It's a week-- it's been seven days, we'd like to get a few more specifics."

Frank and her husband Russell live in Camp Nelson, the two voluntarily left the day the fire broke out.

"We loaded up a few things, our dogs and cat, and we took off," said Russell.

Now they are wondering when they might be able to return home, but the answer is unclear.

Authorities said dry brush and dead trees coupled with heat and strong winds have created challenges. It has also caused the blaze to grow to more than 20,000 acres.

However with it calming down Tuesday night, firefighters said building on the control line that crews worked on during the day is key.

"It will stop the fire spread by removing the fuels, so the fire basically burns to a break and then it goes out," said Operations Chief Keith Gurrola.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux also attended the meeting and said he, like the rest of the crowd, is affected by the fire too. He said he can smell the fire from his own living room.

Boudreaux said many people have questioned why they cannot return home and he said the answer is simple, "It can take a very nasty turn and go in a direction where we've allowed people to go back into their homes and that's bad thing for everyone involved."

Still, authorities are looking for the person responsible for setting a car on fire which they believe started this unforgiving wildfire.

Boudreaux also told us that the fire did destroy a marijuana grow site, but as far as he knows no structures have been damaged or destroyed.

The blaze is only 15-percent contained and there is no indication on when all evacuation orders will be lifted.

Tuesday residents who live along Balch Park Road, Bear Creek Road, and Mountain Home State Forest were able to return home. However, authorities said should conditions get worse mandatory evacuations orders for those locations will be re-issued.

Related Topics:
wildfiretulare countyevacuationTulare County
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