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Friday, July 22, 2011

CA-SQF-Lion - Tulare County Wildfire - 5,500 Acres Golden Trout Wilderness

Lion Wildfire Information Update Released: The Lion Fire has grown to approximately 5,500 acres. The fire showed several days of significant growth a few days ago, including 1,900 acres on July 19. However, fire growth and activity has diminished in the last two days, growing only 105 acres on July 21.

Firefighters are actively working to protect private property and cabins near the fire, including creating better defensible space around cabins, placing hose and firelines near these structures, and completing small burnout operations to develop a perimeter around these areas.
Firefighters are looking for opportunities to ignite at higher elevation, either aerially or on the ground, to promote backing fire. This will help encourage desired fire behavior in an area that has not seen fire in over 90 years.
Weather conditions and expected fire behavior will dictate this action. Portions of the Golden Trout Wilderness are closed for safety concerns in these areas.
The Lion Wildfire response is achieving Region 5 Leadership Intent as stated in a March 2011 Forest Service report. Fire response is founded on a commitment to land and resource management that is based on principles of ecological restoration and dedicated to make land and water ecosystems more sustainable, more resilient, and healthier under current and future conditions. The full report can be found on the Forest Service Region 5 website:,,port=80,proto=http/r5/EcologicalRestoration/.
"Those aspects of fire that are unfavorable, such as smoke, using the strategies such as burning out on this fire, are outweighed by immediate benefits of firefighter and public safety, as well as future ecological restoration benefits," stated Western Divide District Ranger Priscilla Summers. "It is fortunate that this wildfire occurred during a wet year rather than a drought year, when much more smoke and damage to resources would result."

Public meeting: planned for Tuesday, July 26 at 6:30 pm in Kernville at the Odd Fellows Hall at 50 Tobias Street. District Rangers, Incident Commanders, and representatives from the Eastern Kern APCD and Kern County Public Health will be in attendance to answer questions about the current fire situation, future strategy for the Lion Fire, and to address concerns about smoke impacts. 
Incident: Lion Wildfire
Location: Golden Trout Wilderness with the spread to the east and north primarily. The fire is located a half mile to the west of Loin Meadow.Fire is on the Golden Trout Wilderness, Tulare County
Cause: Lightning
Resources: Fire is staffed by firefighters who are monitoring
the fire by taking fire behavior, weather, smoke dispersal
Observations, and mapping fire spread. Incident is being managed using Monitor/Confine/Contain strategies.
Crews: C-2, 20 fire use mods, C-8 Breckenridge IHC, C-9 Springville IHC, CH-2, Engine 23, H-522
KNP DV-1, C-6 Arrowhead Hotshots, PIO-1, H-552(off and on)
Fire behavior: The fire has been backing, flanking, with moderate fire behavior and major fire movement to the west.
The growth was 2100 acres for the last two days.
Smoke/Air Quality: The smoke from the fire had impacts in Independence and the Kern River Valley with the down canyon flow.
Fuels: Open Jeffrey Pine litter and Montane Chaparral, Red Fir primarily above 7,000 ft.
Web Cams:
Fire information: Kernville #760-379-5646 ext. 515, or Springville #559-539-2607 ext. 214.  

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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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