Containment on the Mission Fire, two miles east of North Fork, was at 50 percent Friday morning as conditions improved and an evacuation advisory was lifted for areas south of Road 225.
Danger persisted, however, and an evacuation order remained in place for areas in and around Cascadel Woods, Cal Fire Public Information Officer Mike Smith stated in a news release.
Even as firefighters continued to battle the blaze, which has burned more than 1,035 acres, authorities announced a process to quicken residents’ access to their property once the threat has passed.
Those affected are being promised expedited access, with the help of the Madera County Sheriff’s Office, into some 237 homes still under threat once a mandatory evacuation order in the Cascadel Woods area has been lifted. Beginning Thursday, the Oakhurst Substation was encouraging residents to stop by with valid documents to prove residency.
Acceptable ID includes a driver’s license, vehicle registration or a utility bill, Smith said. The office will then provide residents with a pass for re-entry once conditions allow.
Substation hours continue 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Some residents have been allowed to remain in their homes, but Cal Fire again advised community members to be vigilant and watch for updates on fire conditions.
There is also the risk of downed electrical wires; those should be reported to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. at 1-800-743-5000.
Benedict Meadow remains subject to an advisory evacaution. Road closures include Douglas Ranger Station Road at Road 225, Rainbow Drive at 225 and Cascadel Drive at 225.
Large animals are being sheltered at the Coarsegold Rodeo Grounds and small animals at Oakhurst Community Center.