Officials reduce evacuation orders in parts of the foothills as containment rises in the area

VISALIA – More residents affected by the SQF Complext Fire in Three Rivers can return to their homes this week after officials reduced evacuation orders last Friday.

Containment of the fire jumped more than 20% from last week reaching 58% as of Monday, Sept. 28. The fire has thus fare consumed 150,800 acres and destroyed 173 structures.

Effective at 1 p.m. on Sept.26, officials downgraded orders from mandatory to voluntary in the following communities: South Fork Drive in Three Rivers, from Conley Bridge (just south of Heidi Drive) to Cinnamon Canyon Road, east from South Fork Drive to Cinnamon Gap and Blossom Peak Road, south of Mountain Springs Road to Blossom Peak Ridge and to Cinnamon Canyon Road.

This means residents may return to their homes after showing proof of residency to posted law enforcement. Only property owners and residents are permitted to return at this time. Returning residents must show proof of residency to posted law enforcement to gain access. Proper documentation must include the resident name and residency address within the impacted area. Examples include driver’s license with residency address, utility bill that includes resident name and residency address, or address documentation from the U.S. Post Office for those that utilize a post office box.

Residents returning to evacuation areas should be ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice, as the fire is still active in some areas. Conditions may change in the next 36 hours for communities which have been downgraded, causing officials to re-issue mandatory status, if necessary. Returning residents should show caution, personal safety and be aware of possible debris and smoke inhalation.

Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: mandatory and voluntary. The following communities remain under mandatory evacuation orders: Ponderosa, Alpine Village, Sequoia Crest, Doyle Springs, Cedar Slope, Upper Tule River Corridor (Camp Nelson, Pierpoint, Coy Flat, Mountain Aire, and Points between, Mineral King, Silver City, Portions of Three Rivers, and Cahoon Mountain. The following communities remain under voluntary evacuation orders: Community of Springville (all points between Globe Dr. and Balch Park Rd.), remainder of Three Rivers, Cherokee Oaks, Old Three Rivers Rd.

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