The Sequoia Complex, consisting of the Castle Fire and Shotgun Fire that began in the Golden Trout Wilderness, was up to 35 percent contained as of Thursday morning.
As of Thursday morning the fire had burned 144,826 acres. Fire officials have also moved up the estimated date for the full containment of the fire. After previously estimating the containment date to be October 30, fire officials now estimate the containment date to be October 10.
Fire officials also stated structure protection measures around Ponderosa were nearly complete but added fire activity continued on the southern end from Camp Nelson to the Kern River.
“Spotting is still a concern,” stated officials about the Ponderosa area. “West of the Ponderosa, the fire continues to push the dozer lines.
“While these lines have held, anticipated changes in wind direction could challenge existing control lines. All other edges of the East Zone saw minimal growth.”
Fire officials added as daytime temperatures increased, fire continued to move toward the indirect line near Needles Ridge. “Lines are being tested by this increase in activity,” they stated.
And fire officials also stated “This will be a long duration event. Residents in the affected areas are encouraged to continue to prepare for the possibility of fire in their area in advance.”
The fire has destroyed 189 structures, 148 described as major structures and 41 described as minor structures. Another 12 structures have been damaged. There are 3,183 structures that remain threatened by the fire.
As of Thursday morning according to the Sequoia Complex interactive map there has been no damage to structures in the following areas: Camp Nelson, Pierpoint Springs, Coy Flat, Quaker Meadow and Ponderosa.
An interactive map showing damaged structures can be found at https://tularecounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=f452093b7c6c439e8844093804c0c347
Tulare County has a structure assessment form for evacuees affected by the fire and it can be found at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeAQEGy3VuuH9Eq83IxB_GAwc82ZbKL1IqJcNGdhjhjuSLE4w/viewform
There have been no reports of any civilians being injured as a result of the fires. Fifteen firefighters have been injured as a result of battling the fire.
There are 25 hand crews, 35 dozers, nine helicopters, 35 water tenders and 1,521 personnel battling the fire.
On Wednesday a significant smoke layer moderated fire behavior, allowing for a small advance in containment. But fire officials added the smoke also hampered aircraft use.
“Crews are focused on point protection for structures that are immediately threatened,” officials stated. “Resources will continue to monitor and hold completed control lines, as well as point protection to back country structures.
“Resource shortages due to heavy fire activity in the western U.S. are limiting containment efforts and protecting values at risk remains the highest priority.”
Officials added crews were monitoring Sequoia Crest, Alpine Village and Cedar Slope as reburn and ember wash continued to threaten structures in those communities.
Tulare County Health and Human Services has a hotline for affected citizens at (559) 802-9790.
The Red Cross has an evacuation center at PortervilleCollege. For more information call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or https://tinyurl.com/yafetgkj
Road closures due to the SQF Complex may be found at http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?url=https://services2.arcgis.com/bYBANhmQGwSSLC0l/ArcGIS/rest/services/SQF_Road_Closures_Public_View/FeatureServer&source=sd
The Temporary Flight Restriction may be found at https://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_0_6785.html Drones over the fire area are prohibited.
Current air quality may be found at https://fire.airnow.gov/.
Cooperating and Assisting Organizations: include: Tulare County Fire Department, Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Tule River Tribe, California Rehabilitation Center Fire Department, California Conservation Corps, California Office of Emergency Services, and Bureau of Land Management.