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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CA-SQF-Lion - #Wildland Fire - 14,020 acres, 5%

 Update 7-27: Lion fire grew approximately 2,863 acres. Of those acres, approximately 1,200 acres were aerial ignited. The aerial ignition prevented any large uphill runs. The main fire burned into the areas that had been ignited by aerial ignition.  Update: 7-26: A public meeting is planned for today, Tuesday, July 26 at 6:30 pm in Kernville at the Odd Fellows Hall at 50 Tobias Street.
Area Closure in Sequoia National Park for Lion Wildfire
Fire Likely to Enter the Park
With the Lion Fire spreading towards Sequoia National Park, and to provide for public and firefighter safety, the park is implementing an area closure southeast of Windy Ridge near Farewell Gap.
The fire perimeter will likely extend into the park below Windy Ridge. This area provides a safer and easier holding line for firefighters than the winding boundary between the park and the forest.
"Wildfire functions outside of the man-made boundaries we have in place," said Karen Taylor-Goodrich, Park Superintendent. "We need to work with our neighbors to help them provide a safe response to the Lion Fire."
While the closure within the park is limited, it does restrict some very popular loop hikes that extend into the forest lands. An area closure is already in place in a segment of the Golden Trout Wilderness on Sequoia National Forest. Visitors will find a more specific map of trail closures in the park and in the Golden Trout Wilderness of the forest on Inciweb: http://inciweb.org/incident/2400/ .
Anyone planning to travel into the Forest's Wilderness is asked to contact the Western Divide Ranger District at 559-539-2607 to obtain your permit for overnight stay in areas outside the closure area. Those planning wilderness travel in the southern area of Sequoia National Park should call the 559-565-3766.
The Quinn Patrol Cabin, located in the park near Quinn Peak, was constructed by the US Cavalry in 1890 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Fire crews are working near the cabin to ensure this special historic landmark is protected during the fire. Currently, they are creating defensible space around the cabin and clearing the area of significant fuel accumulation. Strategic burn-out operations are underway near the cabin to remove fuels in front of the main fire.
Fire information lines are established at Kernville #760-379-5646 ext. 515, or Springville #559-539-2607 ext. 214 or visit http://inciweb.org/incident/2400/ .
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The Lion Wildland Fire was ignited by lightning on July 8 and is located in the Golden Trout Wilderness on the Sequoia National Forest. The Lion Fire, presently at 11,411 acres, is expected to grow this week as firefighters continue to focus on securing the perimeter and containing the fire. Managing the fire safely has been a chief priority for forest and park officials. "We appreciate the patience of visitors, residents, and gateway communities during this incident and its associated smoke event," said Priscilla Summers, District Ranger on the Sequoia National Forest.

Fire Behavior: The fire crossed Soda Spring Creek and showed significant growth yesterday. The aerial ignitions underway are planned to help moderate the fire intensity in this area.

On the west, structure protection of the Peck's Cabins, a private in-holding surrounded by Golden Trout Wilderness, was initiated using burning operations around the cabins. Additionally, aerial ignitions began to encourage moderate fire spread near the cabins that allows safe firefighter response.

To the north, protection of the Quinn Patrol Cabin within Sequoia National Park is underway, with strategic burning operations to remove fuels in front of the main fire. On the south and east side, firefighters are working aggressively to hold the fire from spreading across Lion Creek. Other parts of the perimeter are being contained by rocky ridges or past wildfires.

Smoke/Air Quality: As active fire containment operations continue and the fire grows in the next few days, smoke should be expected in the Kern River Valley, eastern Sierra towns, and the mountain communities of Tulare County. "We are working with our air districts to best address air quality issues while still responding to this fire," said Priscilla Summers.


Closures/Evacuations: An area closure is in effect for parts of the Golden Trout Wilderness and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park. Fire information and a closure map can be found on Inciweb: http://inciweb.org/incident/2400/. Anyone planning to travel into the Forest's Wilderness is asked to contact the Western Divide Ranger District at 559-539-2607 to obtain your permit for overnight stay in areas outside the closure area. For those planning wilderness travel in the southern area of Sequoia National Park should call the 559-565-3766.
Lion Fire Trail Closure Map
CA-SQF-Lion Fire Perimeter Map

Basic Information
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Friday July 08th, 2011 approx. 01:00 PM
Location Sequoia National Forest - Golden Trout Wilderness
Incident Commander Paul Gibbs
Current Situation
Total Personnel 160
Size 11,411 acres
Percent Contained 5%
Fuels Involved: Open Jeffrey Pine litter, montane chaparral intermixed with rocky outcrops. At higher elevations, the fire is burning in red fir.
Fire Behavior: Ignitions, at higher elevations, are being used to promote a backing fire in an area that has not seen fire in 90 years. This moderates fire intensity and fuel consumption, and reduces smoke production in this steep, rugged and remote area.
Significant Events: Firefighters continue to focus on securing the perimeter and containing the fire. On July 25 the fire crossed Soda Spring Creek and showed significant growth.
Outlook
Planned Actions: Firefighters continue work 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.
Growth Potential: Forest officials estimate the fire will be contained at approximately 22,000 acres. However, places within this perimeter such as rocky ridges and wet meadows will not burn. Fire behavior remains favorable with the fire remaining on the forest floor and consuming dead and downed fuels.
Terrain Difficulty: High
Remarks: Fire officials continue to work closely with the air districts regarding smoke impacts to Kernville and along Highway 395.
Current Weather:
Temperature 80 degrees
Humidity 28%
Fire Information: Fire information lines are established at 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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