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The SQF Complex, encompassing the Castle and Shotgun fires, has burned 46,328 acres, an increase of 3,754 acres since yesterday. Approximately 6,000 acres of the Castle Fire is burning on the Inyo Nation Forest, with the remainder on the Sequoia National Forest. The containment estimate remains at 1%, with dozer line on the southwest side of the Castle Fire in the vicinity of Lloyd Meadows. Mike Goicoechea, Incident Commander, Northern Rockies Type 1 Incident Management Team took command of the fire this morning. Currently, 632 personnel are assigned; with the transition, additional resources are expected to arrive.
Castle Fire: The fire perimeter remains active, encompassing 45,296 acres. The northern flanks are encroaching on Osa Meadow and progressing towards Angora Mountain with wind-driven runs and group torching. Substantial heat remains on the east side in the Lloyd Meadows area. Crews are focused on firing operations from containment lines to the active fire perimeter on the southwest flank; firing operations are also planned for the Kern Creek area if conditions permit. Structure protection is underway in the Soda Flats area and near Jordan Hot Springs, as well as Ponderosa, Lloyd Meadows, Pyles Camp, Camp Whitsett, and other areas on the west side.
Shotgun Fire: Estimated at 402 acres, the Shotgun Fire is slowly burning within a rocky drainage, with continued monitoring by aerial resources.
Weather: Conditions remain stable with a strong high-pressure system continuing to build in the area. Hot temperatures and low relative humidity will persist in the area. Daytime highs will be 70 to 78 degrees at upper elevations and 94 to 97 on the valley floor, with relative humidity potentially dropping into the single digits. Winds are expected to remain light in the morning, and increasing in the afternoon with potential gusts to 25 mph.
Evacuations and Closures:
The Evacuation Order placed August 28, 2020 by the Tulare County Sheriff is still active for the following communities: Cedar Slope, Ponderosa, and Pyles Boys Camp.
The Evacuation Advisory is still in place for the following communities: Camp Nelson, Rodgers Camp, Coy Flat and Mountain Aire.
The evacuation order and advisory evacuation affects 242 structures. The Red Cross set up a temporary evacuation center at Porterville College Stadium Gate 2.
Roads are closed at Johnsondale Bridge and Sherman Pass, Hwy 190, and the County Transfer Station, as well as M107 and Mountain Road 50.
Camps closed: Dome Rock, Lower Peppermint, Upper Peppermint, & Quaking Aspen
The Sequoia National Forest has issued Order No. 0513-20-31 SQF Complex Fire Area Road and Trails Closure. The Inyo National Forest has issued Order No. 05-04-51-20-16 Inyo National Forest Castle Fire Trail and Area Closure, for the protection of the public and firefighters suppressing the fire.
Smoke Impact: Stable air conditions will keep smoke in the valleys for the next several days. Kern River Valley remains adversely impacted by Unhealthy to Hazardous air quality. Most areas are expected to improve to Moderate for a few hours each day. Please protect yourself from unhealthy air quality; stay inside during the worst conditions. Try to plan outside activities for late afternoon until midnight when the air is typically cleaner.
Priorities include: Ponderosa, Cedar Slope, Forks of the Kern Trailhead; Jerkey Meadows Trailhead; Facilities and Trails within Trout Meadow; structures and facilities along the Lloyd Meadows Road; Pyles Boys Camp; grazing cattle west of north road; the Freeman Creek Grove and other Sequoia tree Groves; the President George H.W. Bush Tree; Camp Whitsett, featuring numerous Native American archeological values; Peppermint Fire Station; the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog and Little Kern Golden Trout Critical Habitats; Pacific Fisher habitats.
Special notes: Fire managers will employ tactics that safely engage fire while prioritizing firefighter and public safety and protecting values at risk. Life safety will always remain the number one priority. COVID-19 mitigations are being taken to limit exposure risks to firefighters and the public, per CDC guidelines.
Fire Information: 559-697-5148, 8AM-8PM