California Wildfire Threat Diminishes, Residents Relax

Mineral, CA – Residents in a tiny town in California can breathe easier, as a wildfire in their area has been blunted by air tankers and helicopters.

The blaze just outside Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California has been creeping up Battle Creek Canyon toward the small town of Mineral, but its progress was halted by the massive effort of about 2,500 firefighters, reports The Fresno Bee.

Bob Einck, who owns a vacation home in Mineral, is relieved that he most likely won’t have to carry possessions from the home. Einck stated:

“After hearing the news I think I feel a whole lot better today.”

CalFire Division Chief Scott Lindgren noted that fire retardant and water air drops were incredible effective in a “critical spot” of the Ponderosa Fire, which was burning about 6 miles from the town of 190 homes.

Sixty-three homes, along with 20 other buildings, have been destroyed by the Northern California fire already since lightning started the blaze last Saturday, according to Don Camp, a state fire spokesman. Most of the destroyed buildings and homes were in the Manton area, and the fire’s new path to the south is still threatening 900 other homes. The blaze has grown to 44 square miles and is burning about 25 miles southeast of Redding, California. CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant stated, however, that:

“We’ve definitely turned the corner, and we’re really starting to make good progress in getting a handle on the fire.”

Lindgren also stated, according to The Washington Post, that:

“The further east we go, the harder it is to stop this fire. The problem is, we catch up to it on the top of the canyon at night, but we can’t catch up to it at the bottom because of the cliff.”

Bob Folsom, a resident of Northern California whose home was just half a mile from the blaze, stated that he was ready for the day when a fire burned through the area. Folsom, who was tending to the gasoline generator running his refrigerator while utility crews work to restore his power, stated that he and his son never left their home despite the fire burning so close by.

Instead, they stayed inside while they heard trees exploding and flames from the Ponderosa Fire roaring by like a freight train. In preparation for a possible wildfire, Folsom has worked over the past 10 years to thin hundreds of trees, dig a pond to store water, and install hydrants to fill fire hoses. Folsom added that, “When it comes through, it’s gonna come fast. You don’t have time to cut down trees.”