It was a long time in coming, but the Sequoia Complex is now considered to be 100 percent contained.

Officials stated early Tuesday morning containment of the Sequoia Complex has reached 100 percent. The Sequoia Complex began as the Castle Fire on August 19. It took 4 ½ months before 100 percent containment was reached on the fire.

The Castle Fire originally began as a small, five-acre fire on August 19. But it grew into the largest fire in Tulare County history, burning 174,178 acres. The lightning caused fire burned on portions of the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument (129,975 acres), Inyo National Forest (12,283 acres), Sequoia National Park (18,292 acres), lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (728 acres), state (4,036 acres) and county, private lands (4,726 acres) and threatened the Tule River Indian Reservation. 

“Winter conditions will likely extinguish any remaining hot spots,” officials stated. Local firefighters will continue to patrol and monitor the fire perimeter, extinguishing hot spots that could spread beyond containment lines.”

Officials stated there's still a lot of work to be done on fire suppression repair. They added heavy equipment will return in the spring to continue that effort.

Forest officials also stated the closure of Sequoia National Forest land near the Castle Fire has been extended through January 31. “Hazardous conditions remain for anyone walking through the burned area such as smoldering stump holes and fire weakened trees,” officials stated.

For now Highway 190, the Western Divide Highway and Mountain Road 50 over Parker Pass remain open.  The Trail of 100 Giants is open for day use until winter weather makes it necessary for Tulare County to close the Western Divide Highway and Mountain Road 50 over Parker Pass.

An Interagency Emergency Task Force also continues work on preparing for flash floods and debris flow, cleaning debris from culverts and drains.

Tulare County still has its local assistance center at Government Plaza, 1055 West Henderson Avenue, Porterville. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

The Tulare County Local Assistance Center Hotline for affected citizens is 559-802-9790.  

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