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Forest Service responds to nearby Sequoia fire
175 fire fighters have so far responded
US Forest Service fire fighters have responded a wildland fire in the Sequoia National Forest, which was reported at approximately 1:27 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Called the Slides fire, it began on the lower third of a west-facing slope and immediately started to spread uphill, quickly engulfing grass and scattered brush as it headed east toward several rock out-croppings.
About 246 acres have burned in an area to the east of the Kern River, and north of the Johnsondale Bridge area. As of about 2 p.m. Monday, NFS inciweb.org reported that the fire was approximately 10% contained.
No injuries have been reported, but a number of trails were closed for the safety of the public, including Rincon OHV, the Cedar Canyon OHV, and River Trail. Forrest Service law enforcement officers and fire personnel have been stationed in the Johnsondale bridge area to assess, or assist, any hikers that have been injured while walking the River Trail. No roads have been closed due to the fire, and it has not posed a threat to any structures.
According to the incident commander in charge at the start of the fire, Angie Sanchez, a quick response from air support has helped the fire, fueled by dried brush and grass, from spreading as much as it could have. However, inciweb reports that the terrain of the area, which is extremely steep and rocky, has created problems for ground personnel, who have a hour and a half hike to the scene.
At least 175 fire fighters, from both the US Forest Service and CalFire, have responded. CalFire has provided smoke jumpers and an air tanker, originally based in Redding, to help the effort. Helicopters continue to fly over the area for reconnaissance and mapping purposes, and the Fairview Heliport area has been closed to the public for this purpose.
Tulare County CalFire has also had to respond to another fire which broke out early Monday morning.
The Galley Fire near Fountain Springs, which broke out at the intersection of Hot Springs and West Old Control roads at 4:30 a.m. Monday, was reported to have burnt 100 acres, and was 75% contained as of 9 a.m. Monday, the CalFire incident website said.
The cause of the fire Slides is still under investigation. Anyone who might have seen suspicious activity in the area around River Trail or the Johnsondale Bridge, or other information about the fire, should call the NF hotline at 559-294-4894.