Creek Fire: Crews protect resort, ranger station, and homes on eastern flank

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Forest service teams are cutting down dead trees along Kaiser Pass Road that could pose a danger for other firefighters making their way to the front lines of the Creek Fire's active eastern edge.

Crews are also clearing out vegetation along the side of the road to create a wider gap in case flames come racing down the hillside.

They say thick fuels in this area could allow a new flare-up to spread quickly.

Information Officer Steve Kleist says, "Mostly what we're dealing with today is a spot over the line in the Kaiser Road area. That triggered some evacuations."

Click here for the latest stories, videos from the Creek Fire.

The evacuations included five zones near Florence Lake in Fresno County. Officials say the orders only impact about five homes that residents had already left, but they're also focusing on protecting two other properties.

Kleist says, "We are looking at values at risk in the Mono Hot Springs Resort area, and also there's a ranger station called the High Sierra Ranger Station that's a value at risk."

A road closure is also in effect at the intersection of Highway 168 and Kaiser Pass Road near Huntington Lake because of the current conditions.

Officials say thick smoke continues to limit their air attack, while the hot, dry conditions are adding to the active nature of this massive fire.

Kleist adds, "It's historic in the sense that we don't see this kind of weather in October. We see it in August, but we're seeing it in October so those are the challenges we're facing."

Action News spoke with Jeff Winslow, the owner of the Mono Hot Springs Resort. He was told the fire moved around an area near his property but that his facilities were not damaged.

Winslow says he's extremely grateful to all of the firefighters. He's looking forward to opening again next year and is currently accepting reservations.

Click here for the latest stories, videos from the Creek Fire.
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