Wildfire Update: Lion Fire Grows and Trail Closures Released

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The Lion Fire is now over 10,000 acres in size! Trail closures have been official released and can be read in the Forest Order. The latest information about the fire can be read below.

The Lion Fire has now grown to 10,250 acres. It is burning slowly south of Coyote Peaks in the Golden Trout Wilderness of the Sequoia National Forest. The fire is backing down White and Angora Mountain ridges and working its way through the steep and rocky terrain south towards the Old Fish Fire. Crews continue to concentrate efforts to contain the fire along routes where firefighters can work safely while avoiding stands of dead trees and inaccessible terrain.

The fire is being suppressed with a confine and contain suppression approach. A confine and contain suppression strategy will keep the fire in a planned area, by constructing fireline, along with natural barriers limiting the fire’s spread. This strategy will allow for the mitigation of known and anticipated hazards to our firefighters while providing the highest probability of success.

Crews have mopped up hot spots directly adjacent to structures, and continue to monitor and patrol the private property adjacent to Lion Meadow. Fire crews have implemented structure protection operations by constructing fireline as the wildfire burns around this property, as well as providing structure protection at Grey Meadow and Trout Meadow.

Smoke Impacts:

As high pressure slowly builds over the region for the next few days nearby communities should continue to anticipate smoke settling into the valleys in the late evening or early morning hours, lifting in the afternoon each day. You can learn more about air quality and smoke by visiting either www.airnow.gov or www.valleyair.org,

For current information Lion Fire and daily smoke outlooks for nearby communities, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5626/

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Wildfire Update: Lion Fire at 3,800 Acres

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The Lion Fire is now at 3,800 acres. Trail closures are still pending, but a general description of what will be closed was mentioned in the latest official report. Check it out below and plan your fall trips accordingly.

The Lion Fire, ignited by lightning on September 24, has grown to approximately 3,800 acres. It is burning north of Lion Meadow in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Sequoia National Forest. Forest managers are preparing to close several trails to keep hikers from walking into the fire area. A map of the closure area will soon be posted on this website closing trails east of Nelson Cabin, south of Coyote Pass, northwest of Trout Meadow, and northeast of Grey Meadow.

Part of Lion Meadow is privately owned by R.M. Pyles Boys Camp. Crews are implementing structure protection by constructing fireline as the wildfire burns within and around the private property. Crews mopped up hot spots directly adjacent to the structures over the weekend to protect them. Additional work is occurring near Trout Meadow and Grey Meadow to protect structures in those locations in the event the fire moves south.

Firefighters are improving trails, utilizing Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST), so they can be used as containment lines to stop the spread of the Lion Fire. Most of the current fire spread has been into an area that burned in the 2011 Lion Fire.

“This fire is spreading mostly through ground fuels in this remote part of the Wilderness,” stated District Ranger Eric LaPrice. “Efforts to contain the fire will be made along routes where firefighters can work safely while avoiding stands of dead trees and inaccessible terrain.”

Nearby communities should anticipate smoke settling into the valleys in the late evening and early morning hours, because inversion patterns normally hold the smoke in low-lying areas. Please refer to the Smoke Forecast under the related incident links section on this website for the most up to date smoke information.

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Video: California Golden Trout’s Long Journey Home

Check out how the California Department of Fish and Wildlife return native Golden Trout to Volcano Creek. They released the fish back to their native waters on July 13, 2017. Why did they need to rescue them? Check out the video!

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Wildfire Update: Lion Fire at 1,700 acres

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Photo from InciWeb

The lightning caused wildfire is up to 1,700 acres now. There are no trail closures announced at this time. However, trail closures should be announced here soon. Best to stay clear of the wildfire burning north of Lion Meadow on the Sequoia National Forest side of the Golden Trout Wilderness. Below if the official news release.

The Lion Fire, ignited a week ago by lightning, has grown to 1700 acres. It is burning near Lion Meadow in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Sequoia National Forest. Forest managers are in the process of closing several trails to keep hikers from walking into the fire area. A map of the closure area will soon be posted on this website.

Part of Lion Meadow is privately owned by R.M. Pyles Boys Camp. Crews are implementing structure protection by constructing fireline as the wildfire burns within and around the private property. Crews mopped up any hot spots directly adjacent to the structures over the weekend to protect them.

Firefighters are improving trails, utilizing Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST), so they can be used as containment lines to stop the spread of the Lion Fire. This fire is burning through mostly ground fuels in this remote part of the Wilderness. Efforts to contain the fire will be made along routes where firefighters can work safely by avoiding stands of dead trees and inaccessible terrain.

Nearby communities should anticipate smoke settling into the valleys in the late evening and early morning hours. This is based upon inversion patterns that hold the smoke in low-lying areas. In the evenings, down canyon winds may push the smoke down the Kern River drainage. Fire managers will be working with the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District to monitor smoke emissions and their impacts.

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Wildfire Update: Lion Fire at 200 Acres

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Photo from InciWeb

On the Sequoia National Forest side of the Golden Trout Wilderness, a wildfire was discovered near Lion Meadow. It is currently at 200 acres. The official new release is below.

Forest fire managers have discovered a lightning-caused wildfire in the Golden Trout Wilderness near Lion Meadow. Approximately 200 acres have burned in the Lion Fire on both public and private land located in this remote wilderness area inside the Sequoia National Forest.

Part of Lion Meadow is privately owned by R.M. Pyles Boys Camp. Crews are implementing structure protection by constructing fireline as the wildfire burns within and around the private property.

“Suppression planning decisions are in alignment with a confine and contain strategy,” stated District Ranger Eric LaPrice. “Confine and contain is limiting the fire spread to a defined area primarily using trails and natural barriers. This strategy will limit risk to firefighters in this remote area scattered with standing dead trees.”

Additionally, fire managers will use Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST) to help protect wilderness character. At this time, there are currently no closures associated with this fire.

Backpackers should anticipate smoke settling into the valleys in the late evening and early morning hours. This is based upon inversion patterns that hold the smoke in low-lying areas. In the evenings, down canyon winds may push the smoke down the Kern River drainage.

Nearby communities may see and smell smoke. Fire managers will be working with the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District to monitor smoke emissions and their impacts.

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Wildfire Update: Pier Fire Contained!

The Pier Fire is now 100% contained. What does that exactly mean? Is the fire “out”? Well contained means the fire is kept within the perimeter. There are likely places within the perimeter still burning too and the potential for the fire to escape is low. Read more below!

The Pier Fire has reached full containment at 36,566 acres. Full containment means that a perimeter line surrounds the fire keeping it from growing larger. Flames and smoke will continue to be seen from unburned pockets of vegetation burning well within containment lines, but escape potential remains low.

Approximately 130 Sequoia National Forest personnel; 5 hand crews, 5 dozers, and miscellaneous overhead, continue to work on controlling the Pier Fire. Work is ongoing to monitor containment lines, extinguish remaining hot spots along the edge, complete suppression repair, and remove fire equipment. This work will continue until winter weather arrives and the Pier Fire can be declared out. 

Similar efforts are ongoing on the Tule River Indian Reservation, where crews and heavy equipment work to mop up, control and repair that edge of the fire that burned onto Reservation lands. For additional information for activities along the southern edge of the Pier Fire, please call the Tule River Indian Reservation Fire Department (559) 784-1590.

All travelers in the fire area should use extreme caution when drivingAs winter weather arrives, conditions may worsen making roads impassable. Be aware of potential safety hazards such as falling rocks, mud and debris washed down from steep banks, and fire-weakened trees. The public, including local residents, are reminded that despite Highway 190 being reopened to access mountain communities, the Forest area and Forest Service roads remain closed under a Forest Closure Order due to hazardous conditions from the Pier Fire.

Closure Order information and map are available on Inciweb

Here are some of the more popular locations that are CLOSED for recreational use:

  • Upper and Lower Coffee Camp Day Use Areas
  • Wishon, Coy Flat, and Belknap Campgrounds
  • The “Stairs” and all turnouts along Highway 190 below Camp Nelson
  • Turnouts along County Road 208 into Wishon Campground
  • Fox Farm Road (FS20S03)
  • Forest road from Coy Flat to Rogers Camp (FS21S94)

As hazards are reduced, some areas may be reopened if conditions allow. For current recreational information, please call the Western Divide Ranger District at 559-539-2607 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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Wildfire Update: Pier Fire at 98% Containment

The Pier Fire is now at 98% containment. A few days ago some of the roads that were closed have been re-opened. Make sure to read the Forest Order carefully. Ultimately calling the Western Divide Ranger District office in Springville for questions about accessing trails like Summit, Clicks Creek, Lewis Camp, and Long Meadow Trailheads are encouraged. You do not want any unfortunately surprises. Below is the latest official news from the Pier Fire incident.

The Pier Fire is 98% contained within fireline as of today.Firefighters will continue to extinguish remaining hot spots along the fire perimeter, suppression repair, and removal of fire equipment that is no longer needed. The public can still expect to see smoke and flame from hot spots well inside the burned area, but those will be extinguished with winter weather. The escape potential is low; perimeter lines will be patrolled by fire personnel as necessary.

All travelers in the fire area should use extreme caution when drivingYesterdays rain showers increased the potential for hazardous conditions along the roadways. As winter weather arrives, conditions may worsen making roads impassable. Be aware of potential safety hazards such as falling rocks, mud and debris washed down from steep banks, and fire-weakened trees.

Southern California Edison is working to replace infrastructure that was damaged by the fire. Expect traffic delays when traveling along Highway 190. This work is necessary to have power restored to mountain communities.

Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire remain closed under a Forest Closure Order. Closure Order information and a map are available on Inciweb 

The public, including local residents, are reminded that despite Highway 190 being reopened to access mountain communities, the Forest area and Forest Service roads remain closed due to hazardous conditions from the Pier Fire. 

For example, here are some of the more popular locations that are CLOSED for recreational use:

  • Upper and Lower Coffee Camp Day Use Areas
  • Wishon, Coy Flat, and Belknap Campgrounds
  • The “Stairs” and all turnouts along Highway 190 below Camp Nelson
  • Turnouts along County Road 208 into Wishon Campground
  • Fox Farm Road (FS20S03)
  • Forest road from Coy Flat to Rogers Camp (FS21S94)

As hazards are reduced, some areas may be reopened if conditions allow. This will be the final Pier Fire update. For current recreational information, please call the Western Divide Ranger District at 559-539-2607 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

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Forest Closure Order Modified = Access to the GTW is back!

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Clipped map from Forest Order

An updated Forest Order now allows for access to the western side of the Golden Trout Wilderness. Users can now access trails like the Summit, Long Meadow, Clicks Creek, and Lewis Camp trailheads. Check out the Forest Order for more information. Perfect timing for the start of the fall backpacking season. However, some of the lower elevation trails are still closed such as the Jacobson Trail. Study the map carefully and call the Western Divide Ranger District office (559-539-2607 x0) for questions.

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Wildfire Update: Pier Fire at 95% Containment

Pier Fire Update

September 18, 2017

Pier Fire Information: (559) 559-539-2607 ext. 2292, 8 a.m.– 4 p.m.

Size: 36,556 acres
Fire Start:
 August 29, 2017

Containment: 95% 
Location: Highway 190, east of Springville

Total Personnel: 450
Cause:
 Human caused, under investigation

Resources: Crews 10, Helicopters 3, Engines 19, Dozers 6, Water Tenders 10, 1 Air Attack

Fire Summary: Weather was favorable over the past few days to allow firefighters to complete the necessary firing operation along the southern perimeter of the fire on the Tule River Indian Reservation. Over the next few days, work will continue to secure the southern perimeter line, mop up hot spots, and continue efforts on fire suppression repair.

Hand crews will be working to secure that five percent of uncontained line near Pierpoint Springs. The steep and rugged terrain along the south side of the Tule River makes access nearly impossible. Efforts will be made to put out remaining hot spots and continue to secure that edge. The majority of active fire will be well within containment lines, residual smoke from this location will be visible to local residents. The escape potential is low.

California Interagency Incident Management Team 5, under the command of Mike Minton, would like to thank cooperators and community members for their support throughout the fire-suppression effort. Today, a local Type 3 team from the Sequoia National Forest and Tule River Indian Reservation assumed command of the Pier Fire. Numbers of personnel will continue to decrease as full containment is reached. 

Effective at 10 a.m. today, Tulare County officials lifted all evacuation orders for the Pier Fire, Highway 190 is now open to traffic…

Officials lifted all voluntary evacuation orders for communities impacted by the Pier Fire. These include: Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Doyle Springs, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Sequoia Crest and Wishon.

Returning residents should show extreme caution and be aware of potential safety hazards, such as falling rocks and fire-weakened trees, downed broken/burned tree limbs, and heavy equipment along roadways. Residents should also be cautious with smoke inhalation; for a full list of health and safety precautions visit www.tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies.

Southern California Edison has begun to restore power to various areas affected by the Pier Fire. Impacted residents may contact Southern California Edison at (800) 611-1911 for further information.

Residents who experienced long-term power loss are urged to show caution when using their appliances for the first time. Do not consume refrigerated or frozen food stored in appliances that may have lost electricity. Dispose of these item properly.

Area Closures: Sequoia National Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire are closed (Closure Order No. 0513-17-34, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/.

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Wildfire Update: Pier 85% Contained!

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Map from InciWeb

The Pier Fire is now over 36,000 acres. Most of the active fire is burning to the south in the Tule River Indian Reservation. Further details can be read below.

Pier Fire Information: 916-203-7438, 7 a.m.– 9 p.m.

pierfireinfo@gmail.com

Evacuations & Road Closures: 559-636-5496, 24-hr recording

Size: 36,556 acres

Fire Start: August 29, 2017

Containment: 85%

Location: Highway 190, east of Springville

Total Personnel: 1,339

Cause: Human caused, under investigation

Resources: Crews 28, Helicopters 7, Engines 85, Dozers 12, Water Tenders 12

Fire Summary: Weather was favorable yesterday, supporting the successful firing operation on the ridge above Blue Canyon to the dozer lines east of the 2¼ Road within the Tule River Indian Reservation. The final containment line is now complete between these two points. The majority of active fire will be well within containment lines and residual smoke from this location will be visible to local residents. The escape potential is low, with overall containment at 85 percent.

The spot fire on the east side near Pierpoint Springs is still being monitored by firefighters. Ground fuels continue to burn within contingency lines, removing future potential of ignition.

A portion of Highway 190 between County Road 208 and Pierpoint Springs remains closed. The incident management team and cooperators are aware that it is a burden to residents and travelers; however, the road will remain closed until safer travel is attainable. The current hazards that keep Highway 190 closed are being evaluated daily. Once hazards within our control are mitigated, the road will be opened. Once it is opened, continue to use caution.

Crews continue to identify and cut hazard trees and remove debris from roadways. Firefighters will continue to patrol and mop-up containment lines. Anticipate smoke throughout the interior and perimeter of the fire for an extended period of time due to pockets of unburned vegetation.

Backhauling of excess firehose and equipment is being carried out. Fire engines and heavy equipment are large, slow, and often stop in locations unusual to normal traffic flow. Drive with caution.

Whenever a fire such as this takes place in a community, there are significant effects. One of those effects is the use of constructed fireline. Constructed fireline is when terrain is scraped down to mineral soil by firefighters using hand tools or bulldozers, making a fire break between burned and unburned fuels. When fire suppression is finished, it the practice of the fire service to repair fireline back to its original state. More than 170 miles of roads and fireline surround the Pier Fire.
Fifty of those miles have been repaired. There will be a presence of heavy equipment and trailers around the perimeter of this fire over an extended period as repair work continues.

California Interagency Incident Management Team 5, under the command of Mike Minton, would like to thank cooperators and community members for their support throughout the fire-suppression effort. Tomorrow at 6 a.m. the team will transfer command of the Pier Fire to a local Type 3 team from the Sequoia National Forest and the Tule River Indian Reservation. The incident command post will remain at Porterville Fairgrounds.

Weather: Mostly sunny with the highs between 75-84 below 3,000 feet and between 65-74 in higher elevations. Minimum relative humidity will be between 25-35% below 3,000 feet and 42-52% above 3,000 feet. Downslope winds will be between 1-4 mph through 8 a.m., becoming upslope/upcanyon at 3-6 mph with gusts up to 12 mph after 12 p.m. Ridgetop winds west to northwest at 3-6 mph.

Evacuations: Voluntary evacuations will remain in place for residence in the communities listed below. Returning residents MUST show proof of residency to posted law enforcement to gain access. Examples of accepted documentation are as follows: driver’s license with residency address, utility bill with name and residency address, or PO Box documentation from the U.S. Post Office. The following communities are under voluntary evacuation: Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Doyle Springs, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Sequoia Crest, and Wishon. Area Closures: Sequoia National Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire are closed (Closure Order No. 0513-17-34, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/. CAL FIRE has closed Mountain Home State Forest, and Tulare County has closed Balch Park. All areas are closed until the fire is brought under control. Suppression repair work will take additional time after the fire is contained; recreationalists should plan ahead.

Road Closures:

  • Highway 190 is closed to ALL public between County Road 208 and Pierpoint Springs.
  • Highway 190 between Upper Rio Vista Road and County Road 208 is a hard closure for nonresidents and a soft closure for residents with photo ID and proof of residency.
  • Highway 190 between Pierpoint Springs and Ponderosa is a hard closure for nonresidents and a soft closure for residents with photo ID and proof of residency.
  • Residents returning to Doyle Springs and Wishon are able to access Highway 190 at Upper Rio Vista and continue along County Road 208. All other residents must use the Western Divide Highway through Pondersoa to access the area. Residents must show proof of residency to law enforcement located at Upper Rio Vista Road and at Forest Road 21S50.

Smoke:

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