2018 Video Recap

Did you miss a video from last years adventures into the Golden Trout Wilderness? Well don’t worry as you can watch them all on our YouTube channel. Click on the video above and watch all 11 short clips of people’s adventures from the 2018 season. In the future feel free to share links to your wanderings in the wilderness. Just remember only clean, family friendly, no foul language videos are posted.

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Merry Christmas

santa_backpacking

Merry Christmas to everyone! May your day be filled with laughter, memory making, and dreams of next season’s adventures.

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Website Update: History

Updated the history portion of the website. Now there is an additional section on the page for purchasing historical information. The previous two sections contained a link or two to buy a book. It may have been confusing on which links were free and which were not. Now those are separated out and easier to find. Also added another book recommendation thanks to a user of the website. It is a historical account of the snow surveying that has gone on in the Sierra Nevada for decades.

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Wildfire Update: Fires Continue to Smolder

Amazing on how dry it is in the mountains. The three wildfires continue to smolder even after the Thanksgiving rain/snow. Sounds like the old Soda Fire from a few years ago. Anyway, we shall see what happens after these current storms move through. Here is the latest.

SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST, Calif. – Three wildfires, ignited by lightning in early October, continue to smolder in the Western Divide Ranger District, Sequoia National Forest. Observed during an aerial reconnaissance Sunday were burning snags and stumps well within the fire perimeters. “It appears precipitation received in recent storms wasn’t enough to extinguish the fires, however light rain and a dusting of snow in the higher elevations reduces the threat considerably,” stated District Ranger Eric LaPrice.

Another storm is expected over the District Wednesday through Friday. With additional precipitation, the fires will likely be fully extinguished. Fire officials continue to monitor the fires by air and on the ground, weather permitting. Two Forest Service hand crews, helicopters, and overhead personnel are assigned.

The Alder, Mountaineer, and Moses Wildfires, burned in dense timber stands with extensive tree mortality and heavy fuel loading on the ground. “A confine-contain suppression strategy was used by Fire Management personnel” stated LaPrice.  “I made the decision to use this strategy on all three fires to reduce the risks to firefighters from standing dead trees and steep, rugged terrain.”

Additional information, with maps and photos can be found on https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6238/

Tulare County Fire Department and CAL FIRE have been supporting agencies assisting the Forest Service with fire containment efforts.

Alder Wildfire – Smoke can be seen from smoldering downed logs, snags, and stump holes on the Alder Wildfire.

Mountaineer Wildfire – There was a light dusting of snow over most of the Mountaineer Wildfire, however smoke can still be seen. 

Moses Wildfire – The Moses Wildfire burned in this secluded stand of timber near the top of a rocky ridgetop. Even at a higher elevation, this lightning-caused wildfire burned on its own through nineteen acres before mostly being extinguished by recent storms.

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Wildfire Update: All Three Fires Grow

jordan_peak_1-1346

Source on InciWeb

The Alder wildfire, now 4,503 acres, continues to slowly advance northwest, towards an area burned in the 2016 Hidden wildfire. The Alder wildfire is being held on a strategic containment line in Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest. Fire continues to creep northeast into Jacobson Meadow, and has backed downhill to the west where it is holding along the Tule River.

Recent aerial and hand firing operations were successful in the area of Mountain Home. Containment lines will be secured and monitored for slop-overs. Additional aerial firing operations will be used as needed to secure the northwest edge of the wildfire, depending on smoke conditions. CAL FIRE is a supporting agency assisting with fire containment efforts.

The Alder Wildfire is holding in the southwest part of the fire. Fire resources will maintain a presence in both communities of Doyle Springs and Sequoia Crest to monitor this area. Aerial reconnaissance flights continue to monitor the fire each day.

The Mountaineer Wildfire remains at 1,246 acres. It continues to burn north of Summit Trailhead, northeast along South Mountaineer Creek, and towards Jacobson Creek in the Golden Trout Wilderness. It is located a half-mile east of the Alder Wildfire.

Fire intensity is low as the wildfire burns through dead trees and ground litter. Firefighters will continue to patrol the perimeter lines along the Summit Trail and handlines to secure any potential slop-overs. Aerial firing may be used as needed. Suppression repair will continue on contingency handlines south of the Mountaineer Wildfire.

The Moses Wildfire has reached 19 acres in size. There is visible smoke. It is being monitored by aerial reconnaissance flights. It continues to smolder in a secluded stand of trees, surrounded by rock.

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Wildfire Update: Fires grow slowly and official update pace slows.

Click images to enlarge – From InciWeb

ALDER WILDFIRE   

Location: Five miles north of Camp Nelson above North Alder Creek

Acres Burned: Approximately 2,903 acres

Fire Discovered: October 4, 2018

Cause: Lightning

Containment:  55% contained

Resources: 125 total personnel3 crews, 5 engines, 2 – type 1 helicopters, 2 Heli tankers,1 air attack

Late afternoon yesterday, the Alder fire spotted across Burro Creek, and spread northwest towards Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest (Mountain Home). The wildfire grew an estimated 200 acres, burned through a portion of Mountain Home, and is advancing towards an area burned in the 2016 Hidden wildfire. A contingency dozer line, improved in anticipation of potential fire spread, is in place in Mountain Home. CAL FIRE will continue to support the incident with increased resources to assist the firefighting efforts. An additional small spot fire was contained at the southwest end of the fire. The area was targeted with multiple water drops to eliminate fire threat. Fire resources will closely monitor that area today.  Two helicopters and two Heli tankers will be used for water drops and suppression support. Aerial reconnaissance flights continue to monitor the fire each day. Smoke conditions may limit aerial capabilities throughout the day. Aerial ignition operations will not be used today. Firefighting resources will maintain a presence near both communities of Doyle Springs and Sequoia Crest.

MOUNTAINEER FIRE         

Location:  North of Summit Trailhead, in the Golden Trout Wilderness

Acres Burned: Approximately 1152 acres

Fire Discovered: October 13, 2018

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 50%

Resources: 48 total personnel: 1 Crew and 1 type 2 helicopter 1 type 3 Engine

 The Mountaineer Wildfire continues to burn north of Summit Trailhead northeast along South Mountaineer Creek, and towards Jacobson Creek in the Golden Trout Wilderness. It is located a half-mile east of the Alder Wildfire.  Fire intensity is low as the wildfire continues to spread through dead trees and ground vegetation.  No aerial firing will take place today on the Mountaineer Wildfire.  Firefighters will continue to patrol the perimeter lines along the Summit Trail and handline to secure any potential slop-overs.  Suppression repair is being implemented on contingency handlines south of the Mountaineer wildfire.

MOSES WILDFIRE  

Location: One mile south of Moses Mountain

Acres Burned: 1.3 acres

Fire Discovered: October 17, 2018

Cause: Lightning

The Moses wildfire shows minimal activity, with little smoke seen during aerial reconnaissance flights. It continues to smolder in a secluded stand of timber but is hung up in the rocks. WEATHER OUTLOOKLight, terrain-driven winds are expected today and Friday.  Dry weather will persist into early next week.  Relative humidity values will remain low ranging from 17-23% daytime, 54-57% maximum.

SMOKE OUTLOOK

Activity in the Alder Wildfire is expected to increase smoke levels at locations closest to the wildfire (Sequoia NP, Ash Mountain, and Three Rivers).  Very low wind speed will limit dispersion throughout the entire forecast area, causing smoke levels to remain elevated.   Smoke from the Alder and Mountaineer wildfires is combining with smoke from other large wildfires throughout the state.  This pattern is expected to persist into early next week.  Some smoke relief may occur in the valley in the afternoon as air warms and lifts.  In the evening, smoke is expected to travel downslope and settle back into the valley. Information about air quality and what you can do to reduce the effects of smoke can be found at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s website http://www.valleyair.org/aqinfo/wildfires.htm and https://tools.airfire.org/outlooks/SouthernSierra

Future updates will be posted only if conditions change for the Alder, Mountaineer, and Moses wildfires. Fire personnel will continue to be assigned as needed until the fire threat has subsided. Additionally, the wildfires will be monitored until extinguished by winter weather.

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GTW.org Turns 7

Celebrating 7 years of goldentroutwilderness.org existence on the internet! To date there have been over 300,000 views, many trips completed, maps downloaded, and resources used. Thanks to readers like you for keeping the site going.

Seeing how many people have visited the website over these past 7 years is an inspiration to me. The site began with goals to get others outside, to see a vast wilderness where there are no fees, and to reconnect with public lands. Ultimately, it was a way for people to access FREE information when so many sites charged you for it at the time. I believe it has been very successful in achieving these goals.

Going forward, the information will continue to be free. Some of you have asked how to help or donate. There are two ways to help. The first submitting trip reports and trail information. Super big help there. The second way is with regards to links. Some of the links in “maps” or “gear” will take you off the site and to stores (e.g. Amazon, Sierra Trading Post). If you want to click those links to buy maps or anything else, a small amount comes back to pay for the URL. If not, that is okay too :). I am just happy to know you are using the site and that is enough for me.

Happy anniversary Golden Trout Wilderness.org!

 

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Wildfire Update: Fire Acreage Increases

MOUNTAINEER FIRE       

Location: About ½ mile north of Summit Trailhead, in the Golden Trout Wilderness.

Acres Burned: Approximately 528 acres

Fire Discovered: October 13

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 0%

Resources: 70 total personnel: 3 Crews and 3 engines

 Summary: The Mountaineer Fire is burning north of the Summit Trailhead, by South Mountaineer Creek, in the Golden Trout Wilderness, on the Western Divide Ranger District. The Mountaineer Fire is about 3/4 mile east of the Alder Fire. Aerial reconnaissance flights continue to monitor the fire daily. The fire is in a remote area dangerous to access on foot due to a large number of dead standing trees. A confine and contain suppression strategy is being used to suppress this fire.

Characteristic: The fire exhibited moderate behavior, slowly backing downhill consuming dead trees and dead fuel on the ground. The south side of the fire will continue to move toward Summit Trail. The north side of the fire is moving toward Jacobson Creek. Crews have reopened and improved trails and previous fire lines to the south, west, and east of the fire.  Firefighters are working along the south side of the fire, to prevent it from crossing the Summit Trail.   They are monitoring the 2-acre slop over by the Summit Trailhead that was contained by firefighters two days ago. Yesterday, hand firing was accomplished along a section of hand fire line heading northeast from the Summit Trailhead. Winds pushed across the fire line making the hand firing operation challenging. Crews held the line and contained small spots across the fire line. Today, crews will continue this hand firing operation if conditions are favorable, heading northeast along a hand fire line, toward a ridge and rocky area near the 2014 Soda Fire burn scar. Today, aerial ignition will take place on the south side of the Mountaineer Fire between the Summit Trail and the main fire, if conditions are favorable. The purpose of the firing operation is to reduce the fuel load, keep the fire within the containment area, and solidify containment. Smoke will be visible from this area today.

Closures: An area closure around the Alder and Mountaineer fires on the Western Divide Ranger District went into effect October 20.

ALDER FIRE           

Location: Five miles north of Camp Nelson by North Alder Creek

Acres Burned: Approximately 2,006 acres

Fire Discovered: October 4

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 55% contained

Resources: 99 total personnel2 hand crews, 5 engines, and 1 helicopter

Summary: The Alder Fire, located on the Western Divide Ranger District, is burning north of North Alder Creek in dense timber with extensive tree mortality, many dead snags and heavy fuels on the ground. The extensive number of dead trees creates a serious safety concern for firefighters. Given these conditions, a confine and contain suppression strategy is being used to manage the fire.

Characteristic: Aerial reconnaissance flights continue to monitor the fire each day. The fire remains contained to the south, by North Alder Creek. The western perimeter of the Alder Fire has not crossed the Middle Fork of the Tule River. The north side of the fire has backed down into the Burro Creek drainage. The fire is mainly confined to the ground, burning through dead trees stressed by drought and killed by insects, clearing dead fuel on the ground in its path.  Yesterday afternoon, a burning tree fell across a tributary to Burro Creek on the north side of the Alder Fire.  This slop over across the fire perimeter quickly grew to 5 acres.  Helicopters were called in to drop water on it, to slow down the spread of the fire.  An aerial firing operation commenced to prevent the fire from running uphill to the east. Fire Managers now have to back off to main Burro Creek, the fire scar from the Hidden Fire, and some rocky areas to contain the north side of the Alder Fire.  Aerial ignition will take place again today on the north side of the fire. Smoke will be visible again today from this portion of the Alder Fire.

Crews continue to monitor the southwest corner of the Alder Fire in the vicinity of the small slop overs that occurred several days ago. Suppression repair of contingency fire lines on the west side of the Alder Fire is complete. Crews finished suppression repair of hand fire lines by Sequoia Crest. Suppression repair of fire lines is done largely to mitigate the potential for erosion. Resources continue to monitor the fire near the Doyle Springs and Sequoia Crest communities.

MOSES FIRE          

Location: One mile south of Moses Mountain

Acres Burned: 1.3 acres

Fire Discovered: October 17

Cause: Lightning

Summary: The Moses Fire was discovered during an October 17 Alder Fire reconnaissance flight.  The fire is located 1 mile south of Moses Mountain, west of the Upper Tule Grove, at the head of Pine Creek on the Western Divide Ranger District. Characteristic: The fire continues to exhibit minimal fire behavior.  The aerial reconnaissance flight found very little visible smoke from the Moses Fire, and mapped the fire at 1.3 acres.  It is still burning in a stringer of timber, and is hung up in rocks. WEATHER OUTLOOKA red flag warning is in effect for Southern Tulare County and Kern County for low relative humidity today and tomorrow. High pressure aloft over the Eastern Pacific Ocean will maintain very dry conditions over the fire for the next few days.  A dry cold front will push through the area on Thursday while surface high pressure builds in the Great Basin. This will result in offshore flow and elevated fire weather conditions for Thursday and Friday, with low humidity persisting through the weekend.

SMOKE OUTLOOK

A change in wind direction is forecasted, which may bring smoke toward the San Joaquin valley. The smoke outlook for the fire area can be viewed at  https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/SouthernSierra-Sequoia.  Information about air quality and what you can do to reduce the effects of smoke can be found at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s websitehttp://www.valleyair.org/aqinfo/wildfires.htm.

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Wildfire Update: Increased Acres, but Increased Containment

The Alder Fire is now up to 55% containment as it slowly increased in size over the weekend. The Mountaineer Fire still does not have any containment and increased slightly in size. More details are from InciWeb below.

MOUNTAINEER FIRE

Location: About ½ mile north of Summit Trailhead, in the Golden Trout Wilderness.

Acres Burned: Approximately 375 acres

Fire Discovered: October 13

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 0%

Resources: 70 total personnel: 3 Crews and 2 engines

Summary: The Mountaineer Fire is burning about a ½ mile north of the Summit Trailhead, on the north side of South Mountaineer Creek, in the Golden Trout Wilderness, on the Western Divide Ranger District. The Mountaineer Fire is about 1.5 miles east of the Alder Fire. Aerial reconnaissance flights continue to monitor the fire daily. The fire is in a remote area dangerous to access on foot due to a large number of dead standing trees. A confine and contain suppression strategy is being used to suppress this fire. Characteristic: The fire exhibited moderate fire behavior, slowly backing downhill. The fire will continue to move toward the Summit Trailhead, and toward South Mountaineer Creek. Crews have reopened and improved trails and previous fire lines to the south and west of the fire, to use them for fire lines. The hand firing operation continued along the Summit Trail yesterday. Today, hand firing is planned from the Summit Trailhead toward the burn scar from the Soda Fire. The purpose of the firing operation is to reduce the fuel load, keep the fire within the containment area, and solidify containment sooner. Aerial ignition was used yesterday on the south side of the Mountaineer Fire, and it will resume today. Local residents may see a temporary increase in smoke coming from the fire area due to the firing operation.

Closures: An area closure around the Alder and Mountaineer fires on the Western Divide Ranger District went into effect October 20.

ALDER FIRE

Location: Five miles north of Camp Nelson by North Alder Creek

Acres Burned: Approximately 1,605 acres

Fire Discovered: October 4

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 55% contained

Resources: 99 total personnel2 hand crews, 5 engines, and 1 helicopter

Summary: The Alder Fire, located on the Western Divide Ranger District, is burning north of North Alder Creek in dense timber with extensive tree mortality, many dead snags and heavy fuels on the ground. The extensive number of dead trees creates a serious safety concern for firefighters. Given these conditions, a confine and contain suppression strategy is being used to manage the fire.

Characteristic: Aerial reconnaissance flights continue to monitor the fire each day. The fire remains contained to the south, by North Alder Creek. The western perimeter of the Alder Fire has not crossed the Middle Fork of the Tule River. The Northwest flank of the fire has backed down into the Burro Creek drainage, and rock outcrops have slowed the progression northward. It has not progressed to the east. The fire remains confined to the ground, slowly creeping and smoldering among dead trees stressed by drought and killed by insects, cleaning up dead fuel on the ground in its path. Minimal growth in the perimeter is expected.

Firefighters continue to monitor the southwest corner of the Alder Fire in the vicinity of the small slop overs that occurred in the past several days. Suppression repair of contingency fire lines near Mountain Home State Forest on the west side of the Alder Fire is complete. Crews are finishing suppression repair of hand fire lines in the area of Sequoia Crest today. Suppression repair of fire lines is done largely to mitigate the potential for erosion. The excavator has finished suppression repair of secondary dozer lines on the west side of the fire. Two engines are working night shift to monitor the fire through the night near the Doyle Springs and Sequoia Crest communities, and also monitor the area around the Summit Trailhead on the Mountaineer Fire.

MOSES FIRE

Location: One mile south of Moses Mountain

Acres Burned: 0.3 acres

Fire Discovered: October 17

Cause: Lightning

Summary:The Moses Fire was discovered during an October 17 Alder Fire reconnaissance flight. The fire is located 1 mile south of Moses Mountain, west of the Upper Tule Grove, at the head of Pine Creek on the Western Divide Ranger District. Characteristic: The fire is exhibiting minimal fire behavior. The aerial reconnaissance flight found very little visible smoke from the Moses Fire. WEATHER OUTLOOK An area of high pressure aloft over the Eastern Pacific Ocean will be responsible for dry weather, light terrain driven winds, and above normal high temperatures in the early part of the week.

SMOKE OUTLOOK

Smoke is expected to stay at higher elevations. Smoke production will decrease in quantity over the next few days. The smoke outlook for the fire area can be viewed at https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/SouthernSierra-Sequoia. Information about air quality and what you can do to reduce the effects of smoke can be found at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s website http://www.valleyair.org/aqinfo/wildfires.htm.

U.S. Forest Service, Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument Voice: 559-784-1500

Webwww.fs.usda.gov/sequoiaFacebook:@SequoiaNF Twitter: @sequoiaforest OnCell App: Sequoia National Forest

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Wildfire Update: Growth, but with containment jump!

Here is your latest update for the Alder, Mountaineer, and Moses Fires. The Alder Fire has grown quite a bit since the last update here on GTW, but so has its containment. Now 1400 acres, it is almost 50% contained! Plus another fire start?? Read below for more details courtesy of inciweb.

ALDER FIRE

Location: 5 miles north of Camp Nelson by North Alder Creek

Acres Burned: Approximately 1,400 acres

Fire Discovered: October 4

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 45% contained

Resources: 197 total personnel4 hand crews, 13 engines, 2 helicopters, 1 Dozer, 1 excavator,

1 water tender, and 3 patrols

Summary: The Alder Fire is located on the Western Divide Ranger District in Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest. The fire is burning north of NorthAlder Creek in dense timber with extensive tree mortality which has produced many snags and heavy fuels on the ground. The extensive number of dead trees creates a serious safety concern for firefighters. Given these conditions, a confine and contain suppression strategy is being used to manage the fire.

Characteristic: There was no change in fire behavior yesterday. The fire is contained to the south by North Alder Creek. Containment has nearly been achieved to the southwest at the Middle Fork of the Tule RiverThe northwest flank of the fire has backed down into the Burro Creek drainage, and rock outcrops have slowed the progression northward. The fire is still confined to the ground, consuming large amounts of dead wood and bug and drought killed trees which are reducing large amounts of fuel in its footprint.

Aerial firing operations were conducted yesterday to increase containment along the northwestern and northern edge of the fire. Aerial firing operations are planned again today to improve containment along the northern edge of the fire. Fallers have finished the removal of dead, hazardous trees along Redwood Drive and crews will be finished with cleanup on the road today. Contingency line work in the Mountain Home State Forest has been completed and preparation of the fire lines for the winter will be completed today. Resources for the Alder Fire are prepared for initial attack to respond to any new fires that are discovered on the Western Divide Ranger District.

Closures: An area closure for the area around the Alder Fire and the Mountaineer fire on the Western Divide Ranger District went into effect October 20.

COY FIRE

Location: Camp Nelson at Coy Flat, Sequoia National Forest, Western Divide Ranger District

Acres Burned: Approximately 0.20 acres

Fire Discovered: October 29

Cause: Under investigation

Resources: None

Summary: A new fire, the Coy Fire was detected October 29. Four Engines and one crew from the Alder fire along with resources from Tulare County Fire Department responded. Crews quickly suppressed and contained it and the fire is declared out at this time. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

MOUNTAINEER FIRE

Location: About ½ mile north of Summit Trailhead, in the Golden Trout Wilderness.

Acres Burned: Approximately 99 acres

Fire Discovered: October 13

Cause: Lightning

Resources: None

Summary: The Mountaineer Fire is burning about a ½ mile north of the Summit Trailhead, on the north side of South Mountaineer Creek, in the Golden Trout Wilderness, on the Western Divide Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest. The Mountaineer Fire is about 1.5 miles east of the Alder Fire. Aerial reconnaissance flights continue to monitor the fire daily. The fire is in a remote area dangerous to access on foot due to a large number of dead standing trees. A confine and contain suppression strategy is being used to suppress this fire. Characteristic: The fire exhibited moderate fire behavior yesterday, slowly backing downhill. There continues to be moderate growth to the west and north as it backs downslope toward Jacobson CreekCrews have reopened and improved trails and previous fire lines to the south of the fire, preparing to use them if needed. Reconnaissance of the fire from the air will be continued to monitor fire activity. Closures: An area closure for the area around the Alder Fire and Mountaineer Fire on the Western Divide Ranger District went into effect October 20.

MOSES FIRE

LocationOne mile south of Moses Mountain

Acres Burned: 0.3 acres

Fire Discovered: October 17

Cause: Lightning

Summary:During a reconnaissance flight for the Alder Fire October 17, the Moses Fire was discovered. It is located 1 mile south of Moses Mountain, west of the Upper Tule Grove, at the head of Pine Creek on the Western Divide Ranger District in Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National ForestCharacteristic: The fire exhibited minimal fire behavior yesterdayReconnaissance of the fire from the air will be continued to monitor fire activity.
WEATHER OUTLOOKA dry northerly flow will persist over the fire through the weekend with a warming trend beginning Thursday. Temperatures will remain above normal through the weekend with dry weather prevailing well into next week as high pressure centered off the California coast remains in control. Winds will mainly be light and terrain driven over the fire through the weekend.

SMOKE OUTLOOK

Smoke will impact some communities north and south of the fire with moderate air quality today as the smoke

from yesterday disperses. Information about air quality and what you can do to reduce the effects of smoke can be found at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution ControlDistrict’s website http://www.valleyair.org/aqinfo/wildfires.htm.

U.S. Forest Service, Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument Voice: 559-784-1500

Webwww.fs.usda.gov/sequoiaFacebook:@SequoiaNF Twitter: @sequoiaforest OnCell App: Sequoia National Forest

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