As of Friday afternoon the Windy Fire burning in the Tule River Indian Reservation and Giant Sequoia National Monument had grown to 56,802 acres.
Once considered 7 percent contained, the fire was downgraded to 6 percent contained and was considered 5 percent contained as of Thursday afternoon. There were 1,540 personnel, including 43 hand crews battling the blaze as of Friday afternoon. There 103 engines, 21 helicopters, 13 bulldozers and four water tenders being used on the blaze.
Officials reported as of Friday afternoon the fire had come to within ½ mile to ¾ mile of California Hot Springs.
As of Friday there were 1,750 residences and 75 commercial structures threatened by the fire. There have been no privately-owned structures destroyed by the fire. There have been two commercial structures destroyed by the fire.
“On Wednesday, a weather front with increased winds moved through the area, lifting the smoke inversion and causing the fire to rapidly grow around the perimeter,” officials stated.
The fire has impacted several Giant Sequoia groves and specialists were evaluating Giant Sequoia trees to determine the impacts, officials stated.
“Last (Thursday) night, the fire was very active on the south and southwest flank on Greenhorn Mountain Ridge and along Sugarloaf Road (FS Road 23S16),” officials stated.
On Thursday two spot fires were reported near California Hot Springs on Lion Ridge and above the Forest Service Work Center.
On Friday, the priority for firefighters was structure protection in California Hot Springs south towards Pine Flat amd Ponderosa and Camp Nelson. A Mandatory Evacuation Order has been issued for the California Hot Springs and Pine Flat areas.
“Along the westside, on the Tule River Indian Reservation, crews will continue to hold and advance the containment lines, looking for opportunities to build direct and indirect containment lines to stop the fire’s progress to the west,” officials stated. “On the north side, crews will strengthen and improve containment lines down Crawford Road (FS Road 21S94) to Coy Flat.
“On the northeast side, crews continue to provide structure protection around Ponderosa and look for any potential spot fires. On the east side, along Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S28), crews will continue to use the road to strengthen containment lines south to the M99 Road.”
Officials added on Friday smoky, warm and dry conditions would continue to persist across the fire area.
Officials noted evacuation orders and warnings can change suddenly. Refer to https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ for Windy Fire Evacuation Warning Area Map or call 2-1-1 for more information.
There are evacuation orders for the following areas: California Hot Springs and Pine Flat areas. The evacuation order includes M-504 at Tyler Creek, Southeast to Pine Flat, West to M-56 and Fire Control Road, North up Tyler Creek Road. The order includes structures, side roads, and attached roads
Also, Camp Nelson and surrounding communities; Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, west to M107 and M50; and Ponderosa and Quaking Aspen. The warning area includes M107 at Dome Rock, north to Highway 190/M90 at North Road (FS Road 21S50), east to Route 21S05, at Needles Trail, south to Lloyd Meadow at Lower Peppermint Road (FS Road 22S82).
There's also an evacuation order for the areas of McNally’s from Sherman Pass Road to Corral Creek. Tulare County residents can sign up to receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.
The following roads are closed: M56 at Tyler Creek Fire Station; Highway 190 at Wishon cutoff; M99 north at Gold Ledge Campground
A daily smoke outlook is available at https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outl.../SouthernSierra-Sequoia
As far as the outlook through today, officials stated: “Smoke over the fire area will keep fire activity minimal, but any clearings may provide winds and heat needed for behavior that is more aggressive. Light winds will keep smoke in the area.”
Officials added Kernville, Tule River Indian Reservation, Johnsondale and Sherman Pass can all expect to see smoke levels reaching unhealthy and hazardous.
For Sequoia National Forest closures visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia for information and a map of the closed areas.
4-H CHUCKWAGON PANCAKE BREAKFAST POSTPONED
The Porterville Fair posted on its Facebook page due to the uncertaintly of how long the Porterville Fairgrounds will be needed to be used as a Windy Fire base camp, the annual 4-H Chuckwagon Pancake Breakfast scheduled for October 9 has been postponed to March 26, 2022. Tickets purchased for the breakfast will be valid in March.