Wildfire Update: Lion Fire Over 17,000 Acres

The Lion Fire is now at 17,380 acres. Containment of the naturally started wildfire has moved up to 35%. The official news announcement, also from the Sequoia NF Facebook page, is below.

Location: Golden Trout Wilderness, Lion Meadow
Acres Burned: 17,380 acres
Structures Threatened: 0
Containment: 35%
Structures Destroyed: 0
Fire Started: September 24, 2017
Injuries: 2
Cause: Lightning
Total personnel assigned to the fire: 90

Summary:
The Lion fire is currently 17,380 acres, after 580 acres of growth. Fire growth occurred in the southern and eastern portions of the fire. The fire’s growth along the southern portion of the fire was a result of an aerial and hand defensive firing operation that was conducted along the southern edge of the fire, east of Burnt Corral. Ground resources continued tactical burn operations by hand firing west along the Lion Meadow Trail (32E02) and successfully tied into the Little Kern River.

Ground resources worked to secure the fire’s edge along the Lion Meadow Trail (32E02) resulting from the firing operations as the intensity of the larger woody debris along the Lion Meadow Trail (32E02) cooled off. The fire’s growth within the eastern portion of the fire is the result of the fires natural progression. Increased fire activity in the Angora Creek drainage which is along the eastern edge of the fire, spotted north into the Leggett Creek drainage. The spot fire was estimated to be approximately 30 acres in size.

Today, Oct. 16, 2017, helicopters will continue dropping water along the active portions of the fire in Angora and Leggett Creeks eliminating the forward spread of fire to the east. Smoke production should significantly be reduced to smoldering large woody debris as a result of the firefight effort conducted yesterday along the Lion Meadow Trail (32E02). Resources within the West and South divisions are assessing suppression repair needs of the primary and secondary control line.

A temporary area and trails closure for the Lion Fire area, within the Golden Trout Wilderness, on the Western Divide Ranger District is in effect. The Forest Order is for the protection of National Forest visitors by prohibiting entry into the area while wildland fire suppression operations are taking place, helping to ensure both public and firefighter safety. Visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/sequoia/alerts-notices or call 559-784-1500for more information

Smoke Impacts:
A combination of high pressure increased smoke production, and easterly transport winds were giving many canyon and foothill areas a smoky start this morning, likely lingering into early afternoon. Some smoke still being generated from the Pier Fire is adding to impacts around Camp Nelson. You can learn more about air quality, and daily smoke forecasts are available visiting either www.airnow.gov or www.valleyair.org. For Lion Fire information visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5626/

Contact: Lion Fire Information
559-784-1500 ext. 1112
2017lionfire@gmail.com

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Wildfire Update: Lion Fire Over 16,000 Acres!

As of today, October 14, 2017, the Lion Fire has grown to 16,250 acres, an increase of 800 acres. Fire managers yesterday observed good fire behavior and effects, the need to complete firing operations was not necessary to bolster control lines. Allowing the fire to progress naturally by backing toward trail 32E02 and the southern control line.

The fire continues to back down the southeast face of White Mountain and southwest face of Angora Mountain towards trail 32E02, a trail that is being used to slow down the progression of the fire till it reaches the southern control line.

Incident Commanders continue to work with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) for firing operation approval, while wildland fire suppression operations are taking place to continue to keep up with the fire. One hotshot crew is preparing for a planned defensive firing operation today on 32E02 trail from the Fish fire scar to Burnt Corral Meadow, and firefighters have scouted trails near the Kern River Drainage, in case the fire moves towards the river. Crews remain engaged in prepping the southern control lines by reducing fuels and finishing line construction around private property and cultural values. In addition, prep continues on the southern control lines – summit trail and the north rd.

Today at 0600, Sequoia National Forest Type 3 Incident Command under IC James Robertson transitioned to Sequoia National Forest Type 3 Incident Command under IC Ernie Villa.

Smoke Impacts:

As high pressure moves in from the south, smoke will begin a westward push. This should decrease the impacts to the eastern Sierra area this weekend, but bring some impacts towards communities near the foothills from Three Rivers and Visalia south to Springville and Porterville tonight into Sunday. Some residual smoke from the northern California fires gradually is dispersing in the San Joaquin Valley, although generation north of the Bay Area continues. You can learn more about air quality, and daily smoke forecasts are available visiting either www.airnow.gov or www.valleyair.org. Lion Fire visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5626/

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Wildfire Update: Lion Fire now at 13,980 acres!

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Photo from InciWeb

As of October 11th, the Lion Fire is estimated to be 13,980 acres, after growing 200 acres overnight. The fire continues to back down the southeast face of White Mountain and southwest face of Angora Mountain towards the Lion Meadow trail (32E02) that is being used to slow down the progression of the fire till it reaches the southern control line.

We continue to work with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to ensure that we are managing smoke impacts and only using defensive aerial ignition when it is necessary to moderate fire behavior and keep our firefighters safe.

Two hotshot crews are finishing the prep of Lion Meadow trail near Burnt Corral; this location will be used to conduct a defensive firing operation once the fire advances closer to the trail. In addition, prep continues on the southern control lines – summit trail and the north road.

We will continue to keep a presence in Lion Meadow to monitor and ensure that the private property and values are secure.

Smoke Impacts:

Smoke from Northern California will impact the San Joaquin Valley and western communities today. Westerly winds this morning will move smoke into the Eastern Sierras. Diurnal winds will continue to bring smoke into Kernville and the surrounding communities in Lake Isabella in the evening and morning. Dispersion conditions will be fair today. You can learn more about air quality, and daily smoke forecasts are available visiting eitherwww.airnow.gov or www.valleyair.org. Lion Fire visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5626/

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Wildfire Update: Lion Fire Grows and Trail Closures Released

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The Lion Fire is now over 10,000 acres in size! Trail closures have been official released and can be read in the Forest Order. The latest information about the fire can be read below.

The Lion Fire has now grown to 10,250 acres. It is burning slowly south of Coyote Peaks in the Golden Trout Wilderness of the Sequoia National Forest. The fire is backing down White and Angora Mountain ridges and working its way through the steep and rocky terrain south towards the Old Fish Fire. Crews continue to concentrate efforts to contain the fire along routes where firefighters can work safely while avoiding stands of dead trees and inaccessible terrain.

The fire is being suppressed with a confine and contain suppression approach. A confine and contain suppression strategy will keep the fire in a planned area, by constructing fireline, along with natural barriers limiting the fire’s spread. This strategy will allow for the mitigation of known and anticipated hazards to our firefighters while providing the highest probability of success.

Crews have mopped up hot spots directly adjacent to structures, and continue to monitor and patrol the private property adjacent to Lion Meadow. Fire crews have implemented structure protection operations by constructing fireline as the wildfire burns around this property, as well as providing structure protection at Grey Meadow and Trout Meadow.

Smoke Impacts:

As high pressure slowly builds over the region for the next few days nearby communities should continue to anticipate smoke settling into the valleys in the late evening or early morning hours, lifting in the afternoon each day. You can learn more about air quality and smoke by visiting either www.airnow.gov or www.valleyair.org,

For current information Lion Fire and daily smoke outlooks for nearby communities, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5626/

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Wildfire Update: Lion Fire at 3,800 Acres

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The Lion Fire is now at 3,800 acres. Trail closures are still pending, but a general description of what will be closed was mentioned in the latest official report. Check it out below and plan your fall trips accordingly.

The Lion Fire, ignited by lightning on September 24, has grown to approximately 3,800 acres. It is burning north of Lion Meadow in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Sequoia National Forest. Forest managers are preparing to close several trails to keep hikers from walking into the fire area. A map of the closure area will soon be posted on this website closing trails east of Nelson Cabin, south of Coyote Pass, northwest of Trout Meadow, and northeast of Grey Meadow.

Part of Lion Meadow is privately owned by R.M. Pyles Boys Camp. Crews are implementing structure protection by constructing fireline as the wildfire burns within and around the private property. Crews mopped up hot spots directly adjacent to the structures over the weekend to protect them. Additional work is occurring near Trout Meadow and Grey Meadow to protect structures in those locations in the event the fire moves south.

Firefighters are improving trails, utilizing Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST), so they can be used as containment lines to stop the spread of the Lion Fire. Most of the current fire spread has been into an area that burned in the 2011 Lion Fire.

“This fire is spreading mostly through ground fuels in this remote part of the Wilderness,” stated District Ranger Eric LaPrice. “Efforts to contain the fire will be made along routes where firefighters can work safely while avoiding stands of dead trees and inaccessible terrain.”

Nearby communities should anticipate smoke settling into the valleys in the late evening and early morning hours, because inversion patterns normally hold the smoke in low-lying areas. Please refer to the Smoke Forecast under the related incident links section on this website for the most up to date smoke information.

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Video: California Golden Trout’s Long Journey Home

Check out how the California Department of Fish and Wildlife return native Golden Trout to Volcano Creek. They released the fish back to their native waters on July 13, 2017. Why did they need to rescue them? Check out the video!

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Wildfire Update: Lion Fire at 1,700 acres

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Photo from InciWeb

The lightning caused wildfire is up to 1,700 acres now. There are no trail closures announced at this time. However, trail closures should be announced here soon. Best to stay clear of the wildfire burning north of Lion Meadow on the Sequoia National Forest side of the Golden Trout Wilderness. Below if the official news release.

The Lion Fire, ignited a week ago by lightning, has grown to 1700 acres. It is burning near Lion Meadow in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Sequoia National Forest. Forest managers are in the process of closing several trails to keep hikers from walking into the fire area. A map of the closure area will soon be posted on this website.

Part of Lion Meadow is privately owned by R.M. Pyles Boys Camp. Crews are implementing structure protection by constructing fireline as the wildfire burns within and around the private property. Crews mopped up any hot spots directly adjacent to the structures over the weekend to protect them.

Firefighters are improving trails, utilizing Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST), so they can be used as containment lines to stop the spread of the Lion Fire. This fire is burning through mostly ground fuels in this remote part of the Wilderness. Efforts to contain the fire will be made along routes where firefighters can work safely by avoiding stands of dead trees and inaccessible terrain.

Nearby communities should anticipate smoke settling into the valleys in the late evening and early morning hours. This is based upon inversion patterns that hold the smoke in low-lying areas. In the evenings, down canyon winds may push the smoke down the Kern River drainage. Fire managers will be working with the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District to monitor smoke emissions and their impacts.

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Wildfire Update: Lion Fire at 200 Acres

Lion Fire Picture 9_26

Photo from InciWeb

On the Sequoia National Forest side of the Golden Trout Wilderness, a wildfire was discovered near Lion Meadow. It is currently at 200 acres. The official new release is below.

Forest fire managers have discovered a lightning-caused wildfire in the Golden Trout Wilderness near Lion Meadow. Approximately 200 acres have burned in the Lion Fire on both public and private land located in this remote wilderness area inside the Sequoia National Forest.

Part of Lion Meadow is privately owned by R.M. Pyles Boys Camp. Crews are implementing structure protection by constructing fireline as the wildfire burns within and around the private property.

“Suppression planning decisions are in alignment with a confine and contain strategy,” stated District Ranger Eric LaPrice. “Confine and contain is limiting the fire spread to a defined area primarily using trails and natural barriers. This strategy will limit risk to firefighters in this remote area scattered with standing dead trees.”

Additionally, fire managers will use Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST) to help protect wilderness character. At this time, there are currently no closures associated with this fire.

Backpackers should anticipate smoke settling into the valleys in the late evening and early morning hours. This is based upon inversion patterns that hold the smoke in low-lying areas. In the evenings, down canyon winds may push the smoke down the Kern River drainage.

Nearby communities may see and smell smoke. Fire managers will be working with the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District to monitor smoke emissions and their impacts.

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Wildfire Update: Pier Fire Contained!

The Pier Fire is now 100% contained. What does that exactly mean? Is the fire “out”? Well contained means the fire is kept within the perimeter. There are likely places within the perimeter still burning too and the potential for the fire to escape is low. Read more below!

The Pier Fire has reached full containment at 36,566 acres. Full containment means that a perimeter line surrounds the fire keeping it from growing larger. Flames and smoke will continue to be seen from unburned pockets of vegetation burning well within containment lines, but escape potential remains low.

Approximately 130 Sequoia National Forest personnel; 5 hand crews, 5 dozers, and miscellaneous overhead, continue to work on controlling the Pier Fire. Work is ongoing to monitor containment lines, extinguish remaining hot spots along the edge, complete suppression repair, and remove fire equipment. This work will continue until winter weather arrives and the Pier Fire can be declared out. 

Similar efforts are ongoing on the Tule River Indian Reservation, where crews and heavy equipment work to mop up, control and repair that edge of the fire that burned onto Reservation lands. For additional information for activities along the southern edge of the Pier Fire, please call the Tule River Indian Reservation Fire Department (559) 784-1590.

All travelers in the fire area should use extreme caution when drivingAs winter weather arrives, conditions may worsen making roads impassable. Be aware of potential safety hazards such as falling rocks, mud and debris washed down from steep banks, and fire-weakened trees. The public, including local residents, are reminded that despite Highway 190 being reopened to access mountain communities, the Forest area and Forest Service roads remain closed under a Forest Closure Order due to hazardous conditions from the Pier Fire.

Closure Order information and map are available on Inciweb

Here are some of the more popular locations that are CLOSED for recreational use:

  • Upper and Lower Coffee Camp Day Use Areas
  • Wishon, Coy Flat, and Belknap Campgrounds
  • The “Stairs” and all turnouts along Highway 190 below Camp Nelson
  • Turnouts along County Road 208 into Wishon Campground
  • Fox Farm Road (FS20S03)
  • Forest road from Coy Flat to Rogers Camp (FS21S94)

As hazards are reduced, some areas may be reopened if conditions allow. For current recreational information, please call the Western Divide Ranger District at 559-539-2607 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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Wildfire Update: Pier Fire at 98% Containment

The Pier Fire is now at 98% containment. A few days ago some of the roads that were closed have been re-opened. Make sure to read the Forest Order carefully. Ultimately calling the Western Divide Ranger District office in Springville for questions about accessing trails like Summit, Clicks Creek, Lewis Camp, and Long Meadow Trailheads are encouraged. You do not want any unfortunately surprises. Below is the latest official news from the Pier Fire incident.

The Pier Fire is 98% contained within fireline as of today.Firefighters will continue to extinguish remaining hot spots along the fire perimeter, suppression repair, and removal of fire equipment that is no longer needed. The public can still expect to see smoke and flame from hot spots well inside the burned area, but those will be extinguished with winter weather. The escape potential is low; perimeter lines will be patrolled by fire personnel as necessary.

All travelers in the fire area should use extreme caution when drivingYesterdays rain showers increased the potential for hazardous conditions along the roadways. As winter weather arrives, conditions may worsen making roads impassable. Be aware of potential safety hazards such as falling rocks, mud and debris washed down from steep banks, and fire-weakened trees.

Southern California Edison is working to replace infrastructure that was damaged by the fire. Expect traffic delays when traveling along Highway 190. This work is necessary to have power restored to mountain communities.

Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire remain closed under a Forest Closure Order. Closure Order information and a map are available on Inciweb 

The public, including local residents, are reminded that despite Highway 190 being reopened to access mountain communities, the Forest area and Forest Service roads remain closed due to hazardous conditions from the Pier Fire. 

For example, here are some of the more popular locations that are CLOSED for recreational use:

  • Upper and Lower Coffee Camp Day Use Areas
  • Wishon, Coy Flat, and Belknap Campgrounds
  • The “Stairs” and all turnouts along Highway 190 below Camp Nelson
  • Turnouts along County Road 208 into Wishon Campground
  • Fox Farm Road (FS20S03)
  • Forest road from Coy Flat to Rogers Camp (FS21S94)

As hazards are reduced, some areas may be reopened if conditions allow. This will be the final Pier Fire update. For current recreational information, please call the Western Divide Ranger District at 559-539-2607 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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