Residents urged to stay home as winter storms head for Creek Fire burn scar area

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Snow is filling the foothills.

Aidan Wolf says it caught him by surprise as he was hitting the slopes in China Peak.

"I knew it was going to snow, but I didn't think it'd get that much. It snowed a lot, made for great snowboarding," says Wolf.

Coming down the mountain was a different story.

"I was losing traction on some parts of the road, and in some areas you have to put the chains on to drive," Wolf says.

The winter storm brought rain to parts of the Valley on Wednesday and even some icier conditions to the lower elevations.

Folks in the foothills are preparing while still recovering from the Creek Fire.

Nicky Hadley works at the Shell Gas Station in Prather, and says visitors have been stopping by all day to get tire chains.

She lives near the burn scar and is preparing for more wet weather.

"In the back of the house we're putting netting to make sure it doesn't slide," she says.

Caltrans officials say along with clearing debris and trees, crews are working longer shifts to make sure an emergency is responded to quickly.
Equipment is also strategically placed throughout the area.

"Instead of waiting to have a call in and brought up from one of the main yards, which is located in the community of Shaver, they have it up at one of their other yards or one of the turnouts ready to go so that we crews can get in there and just really get to work in a quicker way," says Elizabeth Yelton with the agency.

Madera County Sheriff's officials are urging people to stay home as they're already stretched thin due to wind damage cleanup.

They say areas impacted by the fire have been inspected, and while they don't expect a disaster, the sheriff's office has plans in place to keep residents safe.

"We do have plans in place that if the weather does start raining heavily, heavily to the point where it does start causing us concerns, we're ready to go with plans in place and evacuation orders and everything else," says sheriff Tyson Pogue.
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