The Sequoia Complex, consisting of the Castle Fire and the Shotgun Fire in the Golden Trout Wilderness, grew to 107,101 acres as of Tuesday morning. The fires remained at 12 percent containment.
The U.S. Forest Service stated preparations were being made for the fires to move toward Ponderosa and Camp Nelson.
The forest Service reported 104 structures have been lost due to the fires. “The fire area remains dangerous to enter and assess damages,” the forest service stated. “Firefighters remain actively engaged in providing protection to structures that have not been impacted.”
The forest service added Tulare County building officials will be notifying property owners of structure losses.
The forest service added “The evacuation status of local communities can change rapidly.” Tulare County residents can sign up for emergency notifications at alerttc.com.
“A lot of hard firefighting is ahead of us and we are working to provide critical community protection,” said Mike Goicoechea, Incident Commander.
The cost to fight the fire reached $27 million as of Tuesday morning. There have been 14 injuries as a result of battling the fire.
There have been 3,483 people who have been evacuated and 1,683 structures remained threatened. There are 12 hand crews, 62 engines, 19 water tenders, five dozers, eight helicopters and 819 personnal battling the fires.
As of Tuesday Sequoia National Park was closed while Kings Canyon National Park remained open.
The Castle Fire has burned 106,282 acres and the Castle Fire has burned 819 acres. As far as the Castle Fire, the forest service stated, “The western flank continues to be the top priority and is still exhibiting active fire behavior.”
The forest service stated a large spot in Jenny Creek caused additional evacuations northwest of the fire area. On Monday, crews continued work on constructing indirect line from Quaker and Aspen Meadow south to the Kern River.
The fire has crossed Highway 190 near Cedar Slope in multiple areas. Through Monday night, firefighters worked in Doyle Springs.
On Tuesday, crews were continuing to gather situational awareness and work to put together a plan from south of Cedar Slope to Coy Flat.
“Structure protection is being enacted for local communities, with point protection and defense being the priority,” the forest service stated. “Crews are preparing for the fire’s likely movement towards Ponderosa and Camp Nelson, and to maintain the viability of 190.”
Crews continue to make progress on the eastern finger of the fire between Little Horse Meadows and Lion Meadows. Despite additional growth on that area, crews are still able to construct direct line. Structure preparation on the eastern flank of the fire is nearly complete, and crews plan to wrap up structure protection north around the Kern Canyon Ranger Station.
Aerial resources continue to be used heavily on the fire with 237,000 gallons of retardant being dropped on Sunday, September 13.
The Shotgun fire continues to exhibit low intensity, the forest service stated.
The forest service stated high level smoke from surrounding fires could increase on Tuesday. For current air quality, visit: https://fire.airnow.gov/.
Current Evacuation Orders and Warnings in Tulare County may be found at https://www.facebook.com/countyoftulare.
The Red Cross has reopened an evacuation center at Porterville College and opened an evacuation center at the North Exeter Community Building. For further evacuation assistance, call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit https://tinyurl.com/yafetgkj
Mountain Home State Forest and Balch Park Campground remained closed.
The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Office has issued a temporary emergency closure of the Case Mountain Extensive Recreation Management Area near the town of Three Rivers.
For current information on California Highways, visit https://dot.ca.gov/
The current Temporary Flight Restriction for the Sequoia Complex may be found at https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_0_9236.html The use of drones over the fire is prohibited.
Priorities of protection include: Communities under evacuation orders, Casa Vieja, Blackrock Ranger Station, Rogers Camp, Beach Meadows, Monache Meadows, structures along the Lloyd Meadows Road, Freeman Grove, the President George H.W. Bush Tree, Camp Whitsett, archeological values, Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog and Little Kern Golden Trout Critical Habitats, Pacific Fisher habitats, OSA, Beach, and Beck Meadows, trailheads and facilities.