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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About Joshua

http://about.me/joshuacourter
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