Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Forest Service: Human caused wildland fires

By: Cindy Thill, Sequoia National Forest

Kernville, CA May 27, 2009 - Last week's "Mace" fire in the Sorrel Peak area of the Piute Mountains was caused by an abandoned campfire. The fire, just south of last year's 37,000 acre Piute Fire, grew to 1.5 acres before firefighters were able to control it. This fire is still under investigation.

During the past weekend two more fires broke out around Lake Isabella. The "South" fire was reported on May 24th at 10:06 a.m. Quick suppression action held the south fire to 1/10 of an acre.

The following day, May 25, the "Paradise" fire was reported at 1:52 p.m. in the Paradise Cove Campground. Fire suppression personnel arrived on scene and found the public had taken quick suppression action and the fire was contained to a small spot.

Rick Larson, District Ranger for the Kern River Ranger District would like to take this opportunity to remind the local communities and the visiting public to be "fire-wise when visiting National Forest lands." Larson further stated, "Dry forest conditions, coupled with camping and multiple recreational activities on the forest, can lead to wildland fires. Please make sure all campfires are completely extinguished before leaving your campsite and be extra careful with stoves, bar-b-ques and smoking."

Forest officials also advise the public to use caution with combustible and motorized devices in and around the forest.

The Forest Service is requesting the public's assistance in locating persons of interest that were seen in or around the "Mace" fire vicinity, on Sunday, May 17th. To report any information please call (559) 294-4894.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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