Wildfire Update: Pier Fire Closures, Containment, and More


Map from InciWeb

The Pier Fire is now at 20,529 acres with 15% containment. As the fire continues to grow, roads and trails are being closed by a Forest Order. As the fire continues to spread and public safety is a growing concern, roads and trails are being closed by a Forest Order. This will have an impact on access to the western side of the Golden Trout Wilderness at this time. Essentially, access to trailheads using, in part, Highway 190 are closed. The North Road is now closed as well. Users planning on entering the Golden Trout Wilderness via these routes should make other plans. Continue to read the official announcement below for details.

Pier Fire Information: (916) 203-7438 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. Email: pierfireinfo@gmail.com Western Divide Ranger District (559) 539-2607 8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. (Phones are not working, tech has been called)

Tulare Co. EOC 559-623-0200 8 a.m.–8 p.m. (Evacuations)

Size: 20,529

Percent Contained: 15%

Fire Start: August 29, 2017 Location: Highway 190, east of Springville Cause: Human caused, under investigation Total Personnel: 1,416 Injuries: 3 minor injuries Resources: 30 Crews, 6 Helicopters, 113 Engines, 21 Dozers, 13 Water Tenders

Today, officials downgraded evacuation orders for residents along Balch Park Road, Bear Creek area, Mountain Home State Forest, and SCICON area from mandatory to voluntary. All portions of Balch Park Road and Bear Creek Road will remain closed, however residents are able to enter showing proof of residency to posted law enforcement. Conditions may change in the next 36 hours for communities downgraded, causing officials to re-issue mandatory status if necessary. Returning residents should show caution, personal safety and be aware of possible debris and smoke inhalation.

The following communities remain under mandatory evacuation orders: Upper Rio Vista, Cow Mountain (Springville),Camp Nelson, Sequoia Crest, Mountain Aire (Rogers Camp), Cedar Slope, Alpine, Doyle Springs, Wishon, and Pierpoint. The following communities remain under voluntary evacuation: Springville and Ponderosa.
For further information in regards to Pier Fire evacuation orders and road closures please call the Tulare County EOC 559-623-0200.

  • Evacuation Center: Porterville College Student Center, 100 E. College Ave., Porterville. Call 661-324-6427 (weekdays) or 800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) Provide food, shelter, arrange for animal care, and other basic needs for evacuees.

Fire Summary: There was no change in acres burned or containment today, information will be updated Wednesday morning.

On the western portion of the fire, just east of Balch Park Road, firefighters made good progress putting in direct fireline along the fires edge. The Fox Farm Road east of Wishon continues to be the northern perimeter line, keeping the fire south of Wishon Campground and the community of Doyle Springs.

Work continues to improve contingency lines near Sequoia Crest, where several spot fires have tested the fire lines. The focus is now on improving the contingency lines from Sequoia Crest to HWY 190. Firing will take place to tie in the uncontrolled edge of the fire to the established contingency lines once they are completed. This effort will help to secure that edge of the fire.

Yesterday’s active fire along Bateman Ridge from HWY 190 up to Rogers Camp will need a lot of work by firefighters to hold that edge of the fire today. Indirect fire lines will be put in place because the vegetation in this area hasn’t burned in over 100 years. It is not safe for firefighters to work on the edge of the fire in this thick vegetation. Structure protection is ongoing where necessary. Once complete, firing will need to begin to secure that edge of the fire.

When fuel and weather conditions are favorable, firing will begin on the south and southwest edges of the fire. This effort will tie in the active fires edge into the indirect lines that have been well established by crews over the past few days.
Watch a video, filmed at the Hayden Pass Fire Helibase in Colorado, to see one example of a tool used for firing out in steep terrain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iPNOw-oQgo

Road Closures:

Closed to all traffic: Highway 190, east of Springville where it intersects with Balch Park Road. Western Divide Highway/HWY 190, west of Ponderosa, west of and including the North Road (FR 21S50)

Open only to residents (with proof of residency) Balch Park Road from the intersection of HWY 190 to Yokohl Valley Road

Area Closures: Sequoia National Forest closure includes trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire: Closure Order No. 0513-17-34 https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/ CALFIRE has closed Mountain Home State Forest, and Tulare County has closed Balch Park. All areas are closed until the fire is brought under control. Please keep in mind, suppression repair work will take additional time after the fire is contained, recreationists should plan ahead.

Smoke: Information for the levels of smoke in communities affected by the Pier Fire; http://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/2017/Pier#Main

People with respiratory conditions, young children, and elderly people may be susceptible to adverse effects. Air District officials urge residents to follow their doctor’s advice. For more information, see https://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html or http://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm

About Joshua

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