Wildfire Update: Alder, Mountaineer, and Moses Fires Showing Little Growth

The Alder Fire, located just west of the Golden Trout Wilderness boundary, is the largest of the three fires currently burning. Mountaineer is only at 19 acres with very little growth. Moses remains at 0.1 acres. Crews are either continuing to patrol by air or working on the ground. More details are below.

Alder, Mountaineer and Moses Fires

Giant Sequoia National Monument/Sequoia National Forest

For Immediate Release Date: October 25, 2018 Contact: Fire Information
(559) 539-2607 ext. 2292

Current Fire Information: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6238/

ALDER FIRE

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

Acres Burned: 742 acres

Fire Discovered: October 4

Cause: Lightning

Containment: 3% contained

Resources: 135 personnel3 hand crews, 7 engines, 2 helicopters, 4 fallers, 3 patrols, 1 Bobcat

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

Characteristic: To confine and contain the fire, managers have implemented a strategic aerial firing operation. Last week they employed helicopters to ignite small amounts of fire on top of the ridge on the north side of the fire, to remove fuels ahead of the fire to prevent it from crossing the top of the ridge. The need for aerial ignition is evaluated each day. There has not been any aerial ignition for the past 5 days. Topographical features and past burn scars within the planning area are being used to minimize the overall acreage of the fire.

The Alder Fire is slowly moving mostly toward the west, with a little movement to the east and north. It is holding steady on the north side of North Alder Creek. It is burning with low to moderate intensity, mostly on the ground, with the occasional isolated torching of dead trees which are prone to burn more readily. It is consuming and cleaning up large amounts of fuels which accumulated due to tree mortality. Fire behavior observed yesterday was moderate, backing with flanking mostly on the west and south-west sides of the fire.

Daily aerial reconnaissance flights will continue to be used to monitor the progression of the fire.

Along with aerial firing operations, firefighters have been preparing a defensive perimeter around the Doyle Springs and Sequoia Crest communities by opening and improving existing fire lines, using roads, trails and some handlines created during last summer’s Pier Fire. Crews have also been setting up hose lines with portable pumps and water tanks in case they are needed to hold the line if the fire advances. These are precautionary measures in the unlikely event that the fire progresses to the south closer to these communities. The prep work has been completed in the Doyle Springs community but resources will continue to be stationed there to monitor for fire activity and respond if needed. A night shift with two engines and an incident commander continue to monitor the fire during the night. Firefighters are finishing the work of falling hundreds of dead and hazardous trees along Fox Farm Road, preparing to use it as a fire line if needed. This work will also improve long-term public safety by reducing the hazards from dead trees along the road. Crews are improving an existing handline in the Sequoia Crest Community again today.

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

MOUNTAINEER FIRE

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

Acres Burned: 19 acres

Fire Discovered: October 13

Cause: Lightning

Resources: patrol: 2 total personnel

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, in 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 will 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 manage this fire. The Mountaineer Fire was less active yesterday, backing moderately downhill. The small amount of growth of the fire was on the north and west sides. Characteristic: Firefighters have finished reopening and improving trails and previous fire lines, preparing to use them as fire lines for the Mountaineer Fire if needed. Two people will monitor the fire and respond if needed. Closures: An area closure for the area around the Alder Fire and Mountaineer Fire on the Western Divide Ranger District went into effect on October 20.

MOSES FIRE

Location: One mile south of Moses Mountain

Acres Burned: 0.10 acres

Fire Discovered: October 17

Cause: Lightning

Summary: During a reconnaissance flight for the Alder Fire on October 17, the Moses Fire was discovered. It is located one mile south of Moses Mountain, west of the Upper Tule Grove, at the head of Pine Creek in the Western Divide Ranger District in Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest. Smoke may be visible from Balch Park Road.
Characteristic: The Moses Fire has minimal fire behavior. It is burning in a patch of timber near a rocky area which provides natural containment. Aerial reconnaissance flights will continue to monitor the fire each day.

WEATHER OUTLOOK Dry weather will continue over the area for the next several days. Light terrain driven winds will prevail. Temperatures will trend much warmer and relative humidity will be slightly lower through the weekend. A dry upper trough will move across the state on Monday bringing cooler temperatures, increased relative humidity and a period of increased winds for the early part of next week.

SMOKE OUTLOOK Smoke will be more pervasive today, with highest concentrations in communities closest to the fire. The smoke will be present all day long, with heaviest smoke overnight and in the early morning hours.

U.S. Forest Service
Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument
Voice: 559-784-1500
Web
www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia

Facebook:@SequoiaNF Twitter: @sequoiaforest OnCell App: Sequoia National Forest

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