Three wildfires have been burning at a slow rate of spread over the past couple of weeks in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest. The Rock and Alder Fires were caused by lightning that occurred the first week of October. The cause of the third, the Mountaineer Fire, has not been determined and is under investigation.

The Alder Fire, located five miles north of Camp Nelson in the Western Divide Ranger District, has grown to an estimated 10 acres since discovery on October 4. It is located in a dense timber stand with heavy fuels on the ground and multiple snags overhead, creating a safety concern for fire personnel. A confine and contain suppression strategy is being used.

Fire officials are most concerned about the fire spreading southward, where it would move closer to the communities of Doyle Springs and Sequoia Crest. Preparation work has been completed to protect those communities.

If weather conditions cause the fire to grow suddenly, firefighters are prepared to conduct strategic firing. Smoke will become more visible as this fire grows, and is expected to increase over the next week.

Roads, trails, and fire lines will be used to confine and contain the Alder Fire where possible. The Fox Farm Road (FS20S03) is closed to the public to allow safer access for fire personnel. Trails near the fire are closed to prevent the public from walking into the fire’s path.

The Rock Fire is burning a half mile south of Buck Rock Lookout in the Hume Lake Ranger District. It has burned a tenth of an acre along the ground, under a canopy of red fir and lodgepole pine, at an elevation of 8,000 feet. The fire is smoldering and creeping through downed woody material and dry brush. Firefighters are improving roads and trails that surround the fire to use as containment lines if the fire continues to spread.

Fire officials will continue to monitor the Rock Fire over the next few days during the predicted drying trend. There are no structures or improvements threatened. Fire behavior is low with minimal potential for fire growth. Three inches of rain recently fell over the fire area.

Fire managers will use a confine, contain, and monitoring strategy. There are multiple snags (standing dead trees) near the fire which creates a safety concern for fire personnel. No closures in place at this time.

An area closure for roads and trails surrounding Summit Trailhead in the Western Divide Ranger District is being set up to prevent the public from walking into the fire’s path.

The Mountaineer Fire, discovered over the weekend, is burning north of Summit Trailhead in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Western Divide Ranger District. The fire is an estimated half-acre in size, and burning in heavy debris lying on the ground. An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause.

the cause of the Mountaineer Fire is still undetermined.

This fire, discovered during a reconnaissance flight for the Alder Fire, is located in the Golden Trout Wilderness. No structures or improvements are threatened, and a confine- contain suppression strategy is being used.

For additional information, please refer to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6238/ or call the Western Divide Ranger District (559) 539-2607 during business hours Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

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