GLENNVILLE, Calif. (KGET) – The French Fire continues to gobble up drought-parched timber and brushland in and around the Kern River Valley, with several thousand people still under evacuation orders and warnings.
Alta Sierra, Wofford Heights, Keysville all remain under evacuation orders. Meanwhile, Kernville and Glennville are under evacuation warnings.
“The wife let me know that that was serious,” said Glennville resident, William Knight. “She started putting together all the china, and all the pictures and that’s in the car as we speak.”
Dutch Flats and French Gulch, just southwest of the lake, have been downgraded to evacuation warnings.
The fire has burned nearly 23,000 acres and is still only 19 percent contained. More than 1,300 firefighters are on the scene.
Fire officials are advising residents under evacuation warnings to stay ready, as weather patterns determine the direction and speed of the French Fire and it could explode at any second.
The flames aren’t burning as fiercely as when this wildfire first broke out last week, but there is potential for a resurgence and what firefighters call “extreme fire behavior” as we prepare for another heatwave to hit the county this weekend.
Residents are advised to seek refuge at one of the shelters staffed by the American Red Cross.
“People that have evacuated have a place where they can stay if they need to,” said Kate Henry, Senior Disaster Manager with the Red Cross. “When they do need someone to look after them right away they can come to a Red Cross shelter.”
Knight remains at peace since he has prepared early on to evacuate if need be.
“My duty that I always felt was to come out here and pray,” said Knight. “My prayer is that -god willing- to keep people in safety, there are times where that is not going to be the case and we are going to say ‘where is god?’: he is here.”