The Windy Fire on the Tule Reservation continued to grow on Monday and the Sequoia National Forest stated there was concern when it came to protecting the Giant Sequoia National Monuments and one of its groves, the Peyrone Grove.
Sequoia National Forest also stated the fire is threatening other sites as well.
As of Monday afternoon the Windy Fire that began on the Tule River Indian Reservation and Sequoia National Forest was at 974 acres and zero percent contained.
The fire was among eight lightning-caused fires in the Western Divide and Kern River Ranger Districts in the Sequoia National Forest that were caused by Thursday's storm. All of the other fires were stopped at less than an acre each.
On Monday The Windy Fire was burning on the Tule River Reservation and was currently burning to the west of Slate Mountain, Mule Peak and Onion Meadow Peak. It's actively burning in dense dry fuels in steep inaccessible terrain.
Vegetation in the fire area includes chaparral, dense brush, grass and timber which includes dead conifers and oak trees. The fire is expected to continue to spread through the dry, drought-stricken fuels and has already impacted the Giant Sequoia National Monument and burned into the Peyrone Sequoia grove, the forest service stated.
“The fire is also threatening or impacting numerous cultural and historical sites, cabins, campgrounds and sensitive species habitats,” the forest service added.
As of Monday afternoon the fire was moving south towards Mule Meadow, and east towards Nobe Young Meadow. The Windy Fire was 4 miles from Ponderosa, 5 miles from Johnsondale and 6 miles from Camp Nelson. Residents in those areas were urged to monitor the progress of the fire.
“Firefighters will continue to take opportunities to contain the fire's edge when safely possible with the limited resources available,” the forest service stated. They will also be using roads, ridges and other natural and manmade features when direct attack is not possible with the limited operational resources currently assigned.” The forest service stated additional resources have been requested and even though the fire is in an area difficult to access, the strategy is to fully suppress the fire rather than to let it burn.
At 6 p.m. the Windy Fire went under management of California Interagency Incident Management Team 11 in unified command with the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs on behalf of the Tule River Tribe.