SQF Complex – Numbers Update for 10/3

Smoke in the Kaweah Drainage – Sequoia National Park

Here are some updated numbers for those interested. The containment date is now estimated to be November 1!

Total Personnel1,026
Size154,983 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained60%
Estimated Containment DateSunday November 01st, 2020 approx. 12:00 AM
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SQF Complex – Just the Numbers

Current Size = 151,436 acres

Containment = 61%

Personnel = 1,440

The Sequoia National Forest is still closed to the public at this time, which includes the Golden Trout Wilderness. More information regarding the fire can be read on the official InciWeb site.

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SQF Complex – Current Fire Map

9/28 Fire Map – Source InciWeb

The SQF Complex is about half way contained. The image above can be tapped/clicked on to further enlarge the map. Black line around the edges mean the fire is contained at that point. The red line means there is still open fire and can continue to spread.

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SQF Complex – Fire Progression Map

Click image above to increase size – Source InciWeb
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SQF Complex Facts and Public Virtual Meetings

Source: Sequoia National Forest email

The Castle Fire is 134,970 acres and the Shotgun Fire is 832 acres for a total of 135,802 acres and 14% containment.

Reminders –

A community meeting will be held at 4 PM on Sunday, September 20, for both zones of the Sequoia Complex. The meeting will be held via Facebook Live on the Sequoia National Forest’s Facebook page. Questions may be submitted in advance to the East Zone (sqfcomplex2020@gmail.com) and to the West Zone (westcastlezone@gmail.com).

Press Conference will be held at the Porterville Fairgrounds, September 20 at 3 PM. The Press Conference will be live streamed via Facebook @CALFIRETUUhttps://www.facebook.com/calfiretuu and shared on the Sequoia National Facebook page ahttps://www.facebook.com/SequoiaNF/

Please ensure the use of a facial covering for media members attending. All County COVID-19 guidelines will be adhered to. 

The Sequoia (#SQFComplex) Complex is under the Unified Command between the United States Forest Service, Sequoia National Park, Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1, and CAL FIRE Team 6. The Northern Rockies Team 1 is in command of the East Castle Zone and CAL FIRE Team 6 is in command of the West Castle Zone on the SQF Complex. 

Firefighter and public safety are the number one priority as we continue to battle this blaze. Although the fire perimeter is divided into a West Zone and an East Zone we come together as ONE Team to share resources and implement strategies to protect life safety and values at risk.

East Castle Zone Information Line: (559) 697-51488 AM-8 PM

East Castle Zone Website: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7048/

East Castle Zone Email: sqfcomplex2020@gmail.com

Website: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7048/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SequoiaNF     www.facebook.com/inyonf

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/countyoftulare  

Twitter: @sequoiaforest and @Inyo_NF

Evacuation Info: www.alerttc.com

West Castle Zone Information Line: (916) 618-3195

West Castle Zone Media Line: (559) 635-8206

West Castle Zone Website: www.fire.ca.gov/current_incidents

West Castle Zone Email Updates (sign up): https://tinyurl.com/SQFComplexWest

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SQF Complex – East Zone Update

Photo from InciWeb

Only reports of the East Zone of the SQF Complex will continue on GTW. The West Zone does not deal with a majority of the wilderness. If you want to get updates, please check out this link. Other quick facts are below.

Source: InciWeb

Incident Statistics

Location: 25 miles N of Kernville, CA 

Date of origin: 8/19/20   

Cause: Lightning 

Size: 114,320 acres          

Containment: 12% 

Cost: $28.6 million           

Injuries: 14 

Civilians evacuated: 3,183 

Structures threatened: 1,683 

Structures destroyed: 105 

Resources

Hand Crews: 14 

Engines: 70 

Water-tenders: 19           

Dozers: 11 

Helicopters: 23  

Personnel: 1001

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SQF Complex Moves West

Fire activity along 190 near intersection with 216, 1 mile east of Camp Nelson

Source: InciWeb


A virtual community meeting will be held at 6 PM on September 13, 2020. The meeting will be broadcast via Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/SequoiaNF.

Four structures burned in the Golden Trout Pack Station area during Saturday’s fire activity.  This will be reflected in tomorrow’s Incident Statistics as they are updated through official channels. At the time of this update, no additional structures have burned during the active burning overnight and this morning. 

The Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1 has been extended and will continue to manage the Sequoia Complex through September 22. 

Sequoia (#SQF) Complex: Acreages are 73,666 acres for the Castle Fire and 638 acres for Shotgun fire, for a total of 74,304 acres. 

Castle Fire: Active fire behavior began early onSaturday as crews reported thefire was pushing up the ridge on the northwest corner.  Ridge level winds from the east pushed the fire towards the west all day, bumping the fireline and causing spot fires in the Alder Creek drainage outside of containment lines. Firing actions took place off of containment lines in Freeman Creek Grove and Jordan Peak Road to slow fire progression. Structural engines supported firing operations with water throughout the day and overnight to protect values at risk. 

“I could not be prouder of the work that our crews have put in on this western flank. This country is steep and difficult and taking it one careful piece at a time is going to give us the best chance at protecting local values,” said Shawn Borgen, Operations Trainee. 

The fire continues to hold within the southern containment lines, smoke will continue to be monitored. Further southeast, crews continue to make good progress constructing direct handline on the point of the fire that pushed out towards Beach Meadows. North of the finger, between Little Horse Meadows and Osa Meadows, fuels are not conducive to carrying fire. This area will continue to be monitored by air. Structural assessment and preparation continue in Long Canyon, Casa Vieja, and Monache Meadows. Within Sequoia National Park, a ten-person fire module will continue work prepping the Kern Canyon Ranger Station and affiliated buildings. This work is anticipated to continue through the next couple of operational shifts. 

The fire moved actively west and southwest through the night. Firefighters continue to implement structure protection actions to protect values at risk.  Firefighter and public safety is the number one priority in efforts to suppress the fire and actions will be adjusted as needed to maintain life safety. Reconnaissance flights are being flown this morning to assess where the fire is currently established. Extreme fire weather is forecast for Sunday, and the fire continues to actively burn. 

Ground resources have been supported by aerial resources and to date on the Castle Fire a total of 1.2 million gallons of water and 560,000 gallons of retardant have been dropped. Air resources have also transported a total of 65,000 pounds of cargo. 

Shotgun Fire:  Fire intensity has increased with east winds; the fire is now 638 acres.   

Weather: Mainly clear skies will be over the fire area on Sunday with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s in upper elevations and in the lower 90s in lower elevations. Relative humidity levels will fall into the lower teens and upper single digits once again today. 

Smoke: Smoke may begin to shade the fire again starting Monday, and especially on Tuesday as the upper flow becomes more southwesterly to westerly. For current air quality, visit:https://fire.airnow.gov/

Evacuations and Closures: 

  • Evacuation Orders from the Tulare County Sheriff are in effect for the following communities: Doyle Springs (9/12/20), Camp Nelson, Coy Flat, Mountain Aire, Pierpoint, and points between (issued 9/6/20), Alpine Village, Sequoia Crest and Redwood Drive (issued 9/4/20), Ponderosa, Cedar Slope, Pyles Camp, and points between (8/28/20). 
  • Currently, the nearest Red Cross evacuation center is at Clovis North High School, 2770 E. International Ave, Fresno. For assistance with evacuation, call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or https://tinyurl.com/yafetgkj
  • Tulare County residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications at alerttc.com
  • Park and Campgrounds closures: Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest; Tulare County’s Balch Park Campground; and all the campgrounds within the Sequoia and Inyo National Forests. 
  • All National Forests in California are currently closed as of September 9, 2020. 
  • Current conditions in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks may be found at: https://tinyurl.com/y3q9x5l8
  • For current information on California Highways, visit https://dot.ca.gov/ . 
  • The current Temporary Flight Restrictionfor the Sequoia Complex may be found by clicking here. The use of drones over the fire is also prohibited.   

Priorities include: Communities listed in the above evacuation orders, Casa Vieja, Blackrock Ranger Station, Rogers Camp, Beach Meadows, Monache Meadows, structures along the Lloyd Meadows Road, Freeman Grove, the President George H.W. Bush Tree, Camp Whitsett, archeological values, Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog and Little Kern Golden Trout Critical Habitats, Pacific Fisher habitats, OSA, Beach, and Beck Meadows, trailheads and facilities.

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SQF Complex Grows a Little & Daily Videos Published

Golden Trout Pack Station near Lewis Camp Trailhead – SQF

Source: InciWeb

Operational video briefings continue to be posted to the Sequoia National Forest Facebook site daily.

Yesterday, The Sequoia National Forest announced it has temporarily closed public access to the forest due to extreme fire behavior. This follows the Regional Office’s 9/7/2020 Emergency Forest Closures that temporarily closed eight National Forests, including the Sequoia and Inyo National Forests. 

Sequoia (#SQF) Complex: The 64,258 acre complex includes the 63,729 acre Castle Fire and the 529 acre Shotgun fire.  Approximately 52,413 acres of the Castle Fire is in the Sequoia National Forest and 11,316 is in the Inyo National Forest.

Castle Fire: Yesterday,firefighters caught a break with weather conditions that helped moderate fire behavior activity. This allowed personnel to get in on the western flank of the fire to strategically plan for a containment line. Crews began to implement the plan by constructing indirect line, utilizing old fire scars and working down to the White Meadow area.

On the southwestern corner, containment lines continue to hold the fire from Kern River to Lion Meadows. While some smoke has been visible in the area, it is not expected to be a threat. Further southeast, crews were able to get in and work on the finger of fire that had progressed on Monday towards Beach Meadows. Firefighters knocked down spot fires and were able to get a good assessment of structures in the area.  Preparation for line construction continues from Blackrock Mountain to Beach Ridge.

Today, crews will continue to prioritize working on the western edge of the fire, stitching together pieces of containment line that will include natural fuel breaks and roads. The goal is to keep the fire spread east of Lloyd Meadow Road and north of Ponderosa and the Mountain Aire communities. Jordan Peak and White Meadow will be assessed for structure protection needs. Fire behavior in the Freeman Grove, which currently has a low intensity, creeping fire, will continue to monitored, and mop up will continue where possible. Further east, evaluation and preparation for structure protection will continue in Casa Vieja and Monache Meadows.  

Crews assigned to structure protection have been active and mobile, familiarizing themselves with the multiple communities under mandatory evacuation. This plan allows all firefighters to become familiar with multiple areas and gives them situational awareness to be able to respond effectively, if and wherever, fire does break out.

Shotgun Fire:  529 acres and continues slowly burning in a rocky drainage and being monitored by aircraft.

Weather: Wednesdaywill be the coolest day of the week, with high temperatures ranging from the low 70s to the upper 80s in lower elevations. Winds will begin today out of the northwest, and will become southwesterly by early afternoon. High pressure will move into the region on Thursday night and temperatures will become hotter.   

Smoke: Smoke from the Creek Fire will impact the Kern River Valley until the inversion lifts in the early afternoon. Heavy smoke will return and settle in the evening. For more information: https://fire.airnow.gov/

Evacuations and Closures:

  • Evacuation Orders from the Tulare County Sheriff are in effect for the following communities: Camp Nelson, Coy Flat, Mountain Aire, Pierpoint, and points between (issued 9/6/20), Alpine Village, Sequoia Crest and Redwood Drive (issued 9/4/20), Ponderosa, Cedar Slope, Pyles Camp, and points between (8/28/20). An Evacuation Warning is in place for Doyle Springs.  
  • Road Closures: 1) State Hwy 190 at Rio Vista Road, 3 miles east of Springville; 2) Mountain Road (MR) 107 (Great Western Divide Highway) and MR 50 (both roads at their junction), 1 mile east of Parker Pass; 3) MR 99 and the Sherman Pass Road (both roads), 19 miles north of Kernville near the Johnsondale Bridge; 4) Sherman Pass Road, west of Kennedy Meadows. 5. Cherry Hill Road (Forest Route  22s12) at its junction with the Sherman Pass Road.
  • For assistance with evacuation, contact the Red-Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or https://tinyurl.com/yafetgkj
  • Tulare County residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications at alerttc.com
  • Park and Campgrounds closures: Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest; Tulare County’s Balch Park Campground; and all the campgrounds within the Sequoia and Inyo National Forests.
  • The USDA Forest Service on 9/7/2020 has issued the following: Emergency Forest Closures (Order No. 20-07 and Order No. 20-08) and Emergency Fire Restrictions (Order No. 20-06) for the Pacific Southwest Region that  temporarily closes eight National Forests, including the Sequoia and Inyo National Forests.
  • A Temporary Flight Restriction has been issued for the airspace around the fire complex, and it was extended further west on Tuesday. Drones are also prohibited.

Priorities include: Communities listed in the above evacuation orders, facilities within Trout Meadow, structures along the Lloyd Meadows Road, Freeman Creek Grove and other Sequoia groves, the President George H.W. Bush Tree, Camp Whitsett, archeological values, Peppermint Fire Station,  Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog and Little Kern Golden Trout Critical Habitats, Pacific Fisher habitats, OSA and Beach Meadows, trailheads and facilities.

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SQF Complex Continues to Grow + Virtual Public Meeting

Wrapping the George Bush Tree

The SQF Complex fire continues to grow. The acres are now 62,887! If you are wanting to hear the latest strategies from the team managing the fire, I highly encourage you to tune into their virtual meeting. See more information below.

Sequoia Complex (SQFComplex) Virtual Public Meeting, 6 p.m., Tuesday, September 8

The Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1will hold a virtual public meeting livestreamed at 6 p.m., Tuesday, September 8.

Viewers do not need a Facebook account to view the meeting. The live stream will appear at the top of the Sequoia National Forest Facebook page a few minutes before 6:00 p.m. www.facebook.com/SequoiaNF

Source: InciWeb
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SQF Monday Update

Sequoia Complex (#SQFComplex) Fire Update

Sequoia and Inyo National Forests 

September 7, 2020 

Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1 

Mike Goicoechea, Incident Commander 

Incident Statistics

Location: 25 miles N of Kernville, CA 

Date of origin: 8/19/20 Cause: Lightning 

Size: 55,961 acres            

Containment: 7% 

Cost: $12 million               

Injuries: 8 

Civilians evacuated: 828 

Structures threatened: 596 

Resources

Hand Crews: 13 

Engines: 48 

Water-tenders: 20           

Dozers: 8 

Helicopters: 10  

Personnel: 744 

Fire Information: 559-697-5148, 8 AM-8 PM 

Email: sqfcomplex2020@gmail.com

Website: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7048/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SequoiaNFwww.facebook.com/inyonf

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TulareCountyFireDepartment

Twitter: @sequoiaforest and @Inyo_NF

The next community meeting is scheduled for 6 PM, Tuesday, September 8. It will be broadcast via Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/SequoiaNF.    

Operational briefings are posted to the Sequoia NF Facebook site twice daily. 

Additional community evacuations were issued yesterday, September 6, 2020 for the communities of Camp Nelson, Coy Flat, Mountain Air, Pier Point and points between. Evacuation orders remain in effect for Alpine Village, Sequoia Crest, Redwood Drive, Ponderosa, Cedar Slope, Pyles Boys Camp, and points between. An evacuation warning is in place for Doyle Springs. 

The Infrared flight was unable to be flown last night due to mechanical issues. Updated acreage, containment and maps will be shared when available. The Castle Fire is mapped at 55,523 acres, including 11,022 acres within the Inyo National Forest boundary, and the remainder on the Sequoia National Forest.  

Sequoia (#SQF) Complex: The complex includes the Castle and Shotgun fires. 

Castle Fire: On Sunday afternoon, the western edge of the fire experienced dynamic growth, reaching the edge of Freeman Grove. Additional firefighting resources were shifted to the area to bolster efforts. By 1 PM, the fire was experiencing short runs and spotting, resulting in crews being pulled off of the line at 2 PM. Evacuations of local communities were ordered due to imminent threat. By 4 PM, firefighters were able to reengage in defensive tactics in the effort to stop the fire spread south towards Lloyd Meadow. Crews worked into the night, constructing direct line. 

Today, firefighters will be scouting the size and intensity of the slop over into Freeman Grove. They will look for opportunities to go direct, unless the fire activity necessitates using indirect tactics. Resources will be positioned in an effort to protect local values at risk, including structures and natural resources to the greatest extent possible. Local forest resources have been invaluable, helping to guide the team with their knowledge of old burn scars, dozer lines and roads that can be used in firefighting tactics. 

On the northeast flank of the fire, firefighters are working to limit impacts to values at risk within the Golden Trout Wilderness and to limit spread on the eastern edge of the fire. Further south, resources west of Little Horse Meadows established primary and secondary lines with handline and equipment. East of Ponderosa, firefighters made a lot of ground, putting direct line into Lion Meadows Road. Today, fire crews will work to secure fire edge from the east side of the Kern River to the east utilizing direct and indirect tactics. Crews will initiate firing operations as needed. 

Shotgun Fire: Estimated at 438 acres, the fire is slowly burning in a rocky drainage and is monitored by aircraft. 

Weather: Monday’s weather is expected to be hot, dry, and breezy, consistent with the previous few days. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-80s at higher elevations to lower 100s on the valley floors. The minimum relative humidity will continue to drop into the teens and possibly the upper single digits today. Tuesday’s weather calls for a chance of slightly cooler temperatures with only a slight bump in relative humidity.  Wednesday and beyond the forecast calls for some additional cooling, but also a return to a more typical shifting wind pattern. 

Smoke: Smoke will be heavy throughout the area today, and may not lift the whole day. As winds shift from the Northwest, the Kern River Valley will be impacted with smoke from the Creek Fire, as well as the Sequoia (SQF) Complex. 

Evacuations and Closures: 

  • The Tulare County Sheriff issued an Evacuation Order yesterday, 9/6/20 for Camp Nelson, Coy Flat, Mountain Aire and Pier Point. 

  • Previous Evacuation Orders remain in effect for Alpine Village, Sequoia Crest and Redwood Drive (issued 9/4/20) as well as for Ponderosa, Cedar Slope, Pyles Camp, and points between (8/28/20). 

  • An Evacuation Warning is in place for Doyle Springs.   

  • For the latest in evacuation centers, visit Redcross.org 

  • Tulare County residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications at alerttc.com

  • The road closure for SR190 has been expanded and is closed from 16.2 miles east of Porterville (at Rancho Rio Vista Road) to Quaking Aspen Campground. 

  • Roads closure points into these areas – Hwy 190 & the County Transfer Station – M107 and Mountain Road 50 – Johnsondale Bridge & Sherman Pass. These points are closed to all traffic into the area. 

  • Campgrounds closed: Belknap, Coy Flat, Dome Rock, Lower Peppermint, Upper Peppermint, & Quaking Aspen  

  • Sequoia National Forest issued Order No. 0513-20-31 SQF Complex Fire Area Road and Trails Closure on 8/26/2020. 

  • Inyo National Forest issued Order No. 05-04-21-20-17 Inyo National Forest Castle Fire Trail, Road, and Area Closure on 9/3/20 which expands the closure area of the Golden Trout Wilderness and Monache Meadows. The original closure areas continue as specified in Order No. 05-04-51-20-16. These closures are for firefighter and public safety. 

  • A Temporary Flight Restriction has been issued for the airspace around the fire complex. Drones are also prohibited. 

Priorities include: Ponderosa, Cedar Slope, Alpine Village, Sequoia Crest, Redwood Drive, facilities within Trout Meadow, structures along the Lloyd Meadows Road, Pyles Boys Camp,  grazing cattle west of North Road, Freeman Creek Grove and other Sequoia groves, the President George H.W. Bush Tree, Camp Whitsett, archeological values, Peppermint Fire Station,  Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog and Little Kern Golden Trout Critical Habitats, Pacific Fisher habitats.

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