Officials concerned about windy conditions ahead for KNP Complex, Windy Fire

CBS47 News

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KGPE) – On Sunday, officials provided updates on the KNP Complex Fire and the Windy Fire.

The KNP Complex Fire in Sequoia National Park has burned 45,790 acres and is 8% contained, up from no containment on Saturday.

Fire officials said crews had a productive day Saturday, putting out spot fires around the KNP Complex Fire.

“Ash Mountain you see the contained line there above the facilities, and again, these pieces of line are really what’s been critical to ensure the protection of Three Rivers… And hopefully, you’ll be seeing some more black line which indicates containment on the map here within the next day or so,” said Jon Wallace, Operations Section Chief for the KNP Complex Fire.

To the south, the Windy Fire has burned 82,278 acres and is 2% contained.

Fire Behavior Analyst Jeff Shelton said this time of year is usually the end of peak fire season, but the unseasonably warm and dry weather conditions over the last two weeks have provided fuel for the fires to grow.

With windy weather conditions expected over the next few days, officials are concerned about the possibility of spot fires, especially on the eastern sides of both wildfires.

“Strong wind can throw embers across our lines and start spot fires,” said Wallace.

“In the next couple days, there’s a high probability of this fire moving into the Kern River corridor,” said Shelton. “It’s going to be aggressive, but after that two-day period of aggressiveness, we’re going to have some higher humidity, and we’re probably going to be able to go direct on that fire.”

Shelton said the good news is that the wind will likely move some of the smoke out of the area, improving visibility and providing better opportunities for air attacks on the fire.

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