As of Friday morning the Windy Fire burning in the Tule River Indian Reservation and in the Giant Sequoia National Monument had reaced 6,849 acres and was still 0 percent contained.
The fire grew Thursday afternoon to the east towards Windy Gap crossing the Western Divide Highway (M107) and south to Johnsondale, Camp Whitsitt and Long Meadow Grove.
The strategy continues to be full suppression in battling the fire. “Firefighters are preparing existing roads as fire breaks and working at the fire’s edge when safe,” Sequoia National Forest stated. “This fire is actively backing downslope with burning logs rolling downhill causing uphill runs.”
The Windy Fire has burned through a portion of Peyrone Grove that straddles the Tule River Indian Reservation and the Giant Sequoia National Monument. On Thursday the fire reached the edge of and skirted along the Long Meadow Grove.
“Several other groves are threatened by this fire,” the forest service stated. “While low intensity fires can be beneficial to Giant Sequoia trees, high intensity fires are not. A damage assessment will be done in these groves when it is safe to do so.”
Forest officials have expanded the Forest closure area due to the Windy Fire having burned across the Western Divide Highway north of Johnsondale. The west side is closed on M50 where it reaches the Forest boundary near California Hot Springs.
The southern edge ties in with the northern perimeter of the French Fire closure area near White River. The northern edge ties in with the Castle Fire closure area near Ponderosa. M 99 coming from Kernville is closed near Johnsondale Bridge.
The following road closures are in place: Western Divide Highway (M107) is closed at North Road (21S50) intersection near Quaking Aspen Campground to M50 above California Hot Springs. M99 is closed above Kernville at Sherman Pass (22S05) intersection.
EVACUATION WARNINGS AND ORDERS
The following evacuation warnings and orders have been issued by Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux:
There's an evacuation warning for Ponderosa and Quaking Aspen. The area of warning includes M107 at Dome Rock, north to Highway 190/M90 at North Road (21S50), east to Route 21S05, at Needles Trail, south to Lloyd Meadow at Lower Peppermint Road (22S82). Those who choose to evacuate should avoid all road closures and use Highway 190.
Evacuation orders remain in effect for Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, west to M107 and M50.
The temporary evacuation point, where one can find information and assistance, is at Porterville College. Individuals who may need assistance evacuating may call 2-1-1. Older individuals who need assistance with evacuation or information may call the senior hotline at 1-800-321-2462.
Refer to https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 2-1-1 for more information.
Tulare County residents can sign up to receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.
Smoke Advisory information on areas surrounding the Windy Fire is posted on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7841)