Fires Wreaking Havoc In California’s Sierra

I spent the holiday weekend with my family in the Big Trees area near Arnold in the Sierra. We had a nice, quiet socially distanced getaway at a cabin with our dogs. I did some catch-less trout fishing at nearby White Pines Lake (see photos below).

Photos by Chris Cocoles

But as we had no cable TV but decent internet service, we spent a lot of time checking our phones for updates on fires throughout the Sierra. The most devastating of many wildfires during California’s record heatwave the last few days is the Creek Fire, near Fresno. I’m not sure if that massive blaze was the one causing the smoke and haze in the area (see photo below).

Haze around our cabin near Arnold. (CHRIS COCOLES)

But either way, the state is in a bad way right now. I’m particularly saddened by the Creek Fire, which forced dangerous and harrowing evacuations by campers around the Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake and surrounding areas.

When I was a student at Fresno State and then sports editor at the Madera Tribune newspaper, I spent. a lot of time in those areas of Fresno County, where fishing at Shaver or covering the sports teams at Tollhouse’s Sierra High School. So these images and videos of the fire’s carnage are just heartbreaking.

Just surreal footage. Sending positive thoughts for all those affected by and fighting these fires.