Alder and Mountaineer Fires are continuing to grow. As such the Sequoia National Forest has issued Forest Orders to close trails and roads associated with the fire. Forest Service road 21S50 (North Road) above Clicks Creek TH is closed and adjoining roads. Trails associated with the wilderness, the Summit, Jacobsen, Griswold trails, are closed too. Make sure to read the Closure Order for additional details including more roads and trails closed. Below is update on each fire.
Alder Fire and Mountaineer Fire and Moses Fire Update – October 21, 2018 at 5PM
An area closure for the area surrounding the Alder and Mountaineer Fires was signed on 10-19-18.
The Alder Fire, is located about 5 miles north of Camp Nelson on the Western Divide Ranger District in Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest. It has slowly and steadily grown since it was discovered October 4th. A reconnaissance flight will continue to check it daily. It is estimated to be about 510 acres in size on 10-21-18. It is consuming dead fuels on the ground, and is actively burning throughout the day and the night.
A confine and contain suppression strategy is being used. The fire is inaccessible on foot. Firefighters have been constructing fire line where they could get to safely, and improving fire lines that were created during last summer’s Pier Fire. Roads, trails, and fire lines will be utilized to confine and contain the Alder Fire where possible. The fire is located north of North Alder Creek in an area of extensive tree mortality. It is burning in a dense timber stand with heavy fuels on the ground and multiple snags overhead, which creates a safety concern for fire personnel.
The west side of the Alder Fire continues to move up slope toward the top of the ridge and west. On the 18th and 19th a helicopter with aerial firing devices was used, as a defensive indirect tactic, to ignite fire from the top of the ridge on the north side of the fire, to prevent the fire from making a crown run to the top of the ridge. This tactical firing removed the heavy continuous fuels in front of the fire, to reduce the effect of the fire in a controlled manner.
Firefighters are establishing and improving fire lines to protect the communities of Doyle Springs and Sequoia Crest. “A lot of preparation work was accomplished to protect those communities last summer during the Pier Fire,” stated District Ranger Eric La Price. “Firefighters have several options to stop it if the Alder Fire were to spread in that direction.”
The weather outlook calls for dry weather to continue over the fire area for the next few days, with slightly warmer temperatures and little change in relative humidity. An easterly flow aloft will continue with terrain influenced winds at the surface.
Smoke will become more visible as the fire grows, and is expected to increase over the next week.
Approximately 157 personnel are assigned to the Alder fire, including 4 hand crews, 7 engines, 2 helicopters, 4 fallers, 3 patrols, and 1 bobcat. A night shift with 2 engines and an incident commander is also working on the Alder Fire.
An area closure for the area surrounding the Alder and Mountaineer Fires was signed 10-19-18.
The Mountaineer Fire is about one and a half miles east of the Alder Fire. It is located north of Summit Trailhead 13E14, in the Golden Trout Wilderness, in Western Divide Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest. The investigation of the cause of the fire determined that it was started by lightning.
A reconnaissance flight will continue to check the fire daily. It is estimated to be about 8.3 acres in size. The fire is inaccessible on foot. No structures or improvements are threatened, and a confine-contain suppression strategy is being used. The Mountaineer Fire is burning in timber, with heavy fuels lying on the ground.
Two crews are working on reopening and improving existing fire lines and trails on the Mountaineer Fire.
The Mountaineer Fire is producing minimal smoke, with smoldering and creeping fire behavior.
During a reconnaissance flight for the Alder Fire on October 17th, the Moses Fire was discovered. It is located one mile south of Moses Mountain, west of Upper Tule Grove, at the head of Pine Creek, in the Giant Sequoia National Monument of the Western Divide Ranger District on the Sequoia National Forest. Smoke may be visible from Balch Park Road. The Moses Fire is being monitored by air and is unstaffed at this time. No structures are at risk.
For additional information, please call the Western Divide Ranger District (559) 539-2607, extension 2292.