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Saturday, May 28, 2011

CA-SQF-COVE - Wildland Fire - @ 1122 acres. 98%. cont. FINAL

Cove Fire SQF, KRN, BLM
Cove Fire Update #7 5-29 1200hrs -
Incident transitioned to a type 4 Incident Management Organization and back to the Sequoia NF
Fire has burned 1,122 acres and is 98% contained
Incident will begin rehab for the fire. This will be the last report for this incident unless conditions change.Cove Fire Update #6 5-28 1800hrs -
 Cove Inc. CA-SQF-1246 Kern County, Mountain Mesa, Lake Isabella, Kern Co.
Incident transitioned from Unified Command at 0600 hrs today.

Fire has burned 1,122 acres and is 85% contained

Sequoia Forest will continue suppression efforts on the forest lands where needed and the state lands are in patrol status.

Resources are continuing the demob process.

All CALFIRE resources have been released

Remaining resources continue to mop up in the riparian area.

Weather from Weldon, mostly cloudy with reports of light rain, temp

50.0 °F, RH 56%, Wind 17.4 mph from SW, Gust 17.4 mph
 Cove Fire Update #5 

All evacuations have been lifted and Highway 178 is now open to normal traffic.
The fire is holding at 1,356 acres and is 65% contained. Cove Fire Update #5
Cove Inc. CA-SQF1234 Community of Mountain Mesa
Incident remains in Unified Command (Sequoia NF, BLM and CALFIRE)
Fire started on Federal DPA and burned onto State DPA
Fire has burned approximately 1,316 ACRES and is 45% contained
Evacuation Center was closed late last night
Fire is still active in the N/E corner of the Incident adjacent to riparian area
There has not been any recorded fire history in the N/E corner of Incident (riparian area) since the early 1900’s
Due to safety concerns and hazards, crews will work within the riparian areas during day operations only
Gusty winds are expected to continue throughout the next operational period Values at risk are the riparian areas which is habitat to the Willow Fly Catcher and the communities of Weldon and South LakeCove Fire Update #4
Crews remained on the fire last night which did not appear to grow in size and remains at approximately 1350 acres with containment now at 40%. The main part of the fire is in the Riparian Wildlife area where heavy vegetation growth and marsh like ground cover is the predominant fuel type which is hazardous to firefighting and is being monitored carefully. Highway 178 is now fully open please drive carefully as firefighters continue to work near the roadway and large fire equipment is travelling in the area.

The expected weather today will be cooler with a reduced wind speed which will help with firefighting activities. Fire crews working at the west end and central part of the fire will continue to mop up inside the fire line and around homes.
“Over the winter a lot of work was done by all three Agencies to put together a Type III Incident Management Organization. This has proved very successful on our first fire of the season and will benefit the community by having the right people at the right time and will also save money by not having to bring in outside personnel in the early stages” Said David Brinsfield Fire Management Officer from the Bureau of Land Management.

Cove Fire Update #3
SOUTH LAKE –CA, Friday May 27th 2011 at approximately 12:34 the Kern County Fire Department received several calls for a grass fire north of Hwy 178 in the area of Joughin Ranch, west of Kissack Cove.
The Cove fire is currently at 1352 acres and at 25% containment. Fire crews will remain on the fire overnight fighting the active fire and mopping up the inactive edge.
The evacuation center previously set up at the Senior Center on Lake Isabella Blvd in Lake Isabella is now closed.
If anyone has any information regarding this fire please call the Forest Service Fire Information Number at (559) 294-4894
No injuries have been reported.
For further general assistance regarding fire information please call 211.

Cove Fire Update #2
SOUTH LAKE –CA, Friday May 27th 2011 at approximately 12:34 the Kern County Fire Department received several calls for a grass fire north of Hwy 178 in the area of Joughin Ranch, west of Kissack Cove.
As of 8:00 P.M. tonight evacuations have been lifted and Highway 178 will be re-opened to 1 lane for the foreseeable future from Poplar at the west end to Entrada at the east end. CHP will be escorting traffic the closure is due too safety concerns with firefighters who continue to work adjacent to the roadway. Please be careful when driving through the area as there will be a lot of firefighting vehicles on the roadway. All through traffic is advised to take Sierra Highway through Kernville to Hwy 155 and back to Hwy 178 at Lake Isabella.
The fire is currently being held at approximately 1356 acres and is in the Riparian Wildlife area.
For further fire/evacuation center information please call 211.
An evacuation center has been set up at the Senior Center on Lake Isabella Blvd in Lake Isabella.
No injuries have been reported.

Cove Fire Update #1
SOUTH LAKE –CA, Friday May 27th 2011 at approximately 12:34 the Kern County Fire Department received several calls for a grass fire north of Hwy 178 in the area of Joughin Ranch, west of Kissack Cove. Extreme weather behavior with high winds caused the fire to grow quickly. Approximately 200 firefighters from KCFD, USFS Sequioa and BLM arrived to fight the fire.
Upon arrival fire crews were faced with a grass fire being driven by strong winds eastwards. Due to the winds no helicopters were able to drop water on the fire. Fire crews from all departments began an aggressive attack of the fire as it began to move towards homes in the immediate area. Approximately 100 structures were threatened. The Incident Commander ordered the evacuation of approximately 400 homes. Due to excessive smoke in the area and with emergency vehicles using the roadway Highway 178 is closed from Poplar at the west end and Vista Grande at the east end.
For further fire/evacuation center information please call 211.
An evacuation center has been set up at the Senior Center on Lake Isabella Blvd in Lake Isabella.
No injuries have been reported.
Assisting Agencies include KCSO, KC Animal Control, Red Cross, Cal Trans and CHP.

Update: 1356 acres (838 FRA, 518 SRA)
• Fire has moved into the riparian area in the south fork of the Kern River. Heavy fuels require significant mop-up • Containment & control efforts are hampered by strong winds • 1 outbuilding destroyed • Voluntary evacuations remain in place for portions of the subdivisions of Mountain Mesa and South Lake • Hwy 178 from Sierra to Poplar is closed with traffic being diverted around Lake Isabella via Sierra Way

 Cove Fire Incident Overview

At 12:30 yesterday (Friday, May 27th) firefighters responded to a fire near Kissack Cove, east of the town of Lake Isabella. Upon initial attack firefighters from the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Kern County Fire Department found the wildfire burning in grasses and being driven by extremely high winds. The winds were so extreme the two initial attack helicopters had to be grounded for safety precautions. The fire quickly grew to 200+ acres and continued in an easterly direction north of Highway 178. Firefighters worked diligently to stop the forward movement of the fire in difficult windy conditions - stop the easterly moving head and keep the fire north of highway 178.

Two small fires spotted across Highway 178 to the south and were quickly extinguished by firefighters on the scene.

Evacuations were put in place for residents north and south of Highway 179 from Kissack Cove to Weldon. Approximately 400 homes were threatened and 2,000 to 4,000 residents were affected by the evacuations. Heavy smoke was due to the fire burning into cottonwoods and damp ground fuels.

Air tankers, engines, patrols, structure protection engines, water tenders,fire fighting handcrews, and fire overhead continue to fight this fire.

Kern County Sheriff Department officers evacuated Southfork Elementary School as a precaution. The students were safely transported to Southfork Middle School a few miles away.

Cal Trans and California Highway Patrol quickly set up three road blocks for firefighter and public safety. The three roadblocks were 1) Highway 178 and Poplar Street in Mt. Mesa, 2) Highway 178 and Vista Grande in Weldon and 3) Highway 178 and Entrada in Southlake.

As of 2000 this evening (May 27th) California Highway Patrol will be escorting vehicles through the road blocks.

The fire was last reported to be 1,356 acres. Cal-Fire arrived on scene shortly into the incident.

Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Friday May 27th, 2011 approx. 12:30 PM
Location East of Kissack Cove off Highway 178
Incident Commander Yearwood/heffner
Incident Contact: Cindy Thill Phone: 760 417 0608
Current Situation
Total Personnel 200
Size 1,356 acres

Fuels Involved Grasses and cottonwood
Fire Behavior Wind driven -grass fire - heavy smoke due to wet ground fuels

Significant Events
Helicopters were grounded on initial attack due to extremely high winds. Partial damage to one structure - roof over patio was burned - house was saved. No injuries at this time.

Outlook/Planned Actions

Three road closures were put into effect. 1)Highway 178 at Vista Grande in Weldon, 2) Highway 178 at Entrada in Southlake and 3) Highway 178 and Poplar Street in Mountain Mesa. At 2000 tonight (May 27th) CHP will be escorting traffic through.
Growth Potential Unknown
Terrain Difficulty Low to moderate
Remarks Southfork Elementary School was evacuated, as a precaution. The students were transported to Southfork Middle School.
Current Weather Wind Conditions 30 mph E, Temperature 70 degrees
Lake Isabella Webcam: Link
Inciweb Cove Fire209: Link

Twitter links

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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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