Officials address rumors about KNP Complex during community meeting

KSEE24 News

TULARE, Calif. (KSEE) – The KNP Complex continued to grow Monday. It reached nearly 47,000 acres with 8% containment.

Dozens of people attended a community meeting at the Three Rivers Memorial Building.

“If you had told me 2 1/2 weeks ago that at this point we would be less than 10 percent containment. I probably would have said ‘I’m not sure I want to hear that,'” Clay Jordan the superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks said.

Jordan started the meeting by addressing rumors circulating about the KNP Complex fire’s low containment.

He said he’s seen postings online claiming the parks service is allowing the fire to spread because they care more about the ecosystem than people, all they care about are the Giant Sequoias and he even saw a rumor he had started the fire with a drone.

Jordan said there is a lot of misinformation being spread and the containment number is not reflective of the amount of work being done.

He said there are about 19 miles of dozer line within the park and crews are also working ahead of the fire through indirect attacks which will pay off down the road.

“Crews are continuing to build fire line indirectly which means they’re building that catchers mitt to be able to stop the fire where it’s possible to do so,” Mike Theune a fire information officer said.

A new incident management team took control of the fire over the weekend and brought more favorable conditions with them.

“The biggest difference today is we had some more ventilation and the smoke was able to vent out and we were able to see, something that that blue team didn’t have for the last week,” Chad Rice an operations section chief said.

In the next 24-hours, crews expect clearer skies. So, while they’ll be able to use air attacks they’re also bracing for more active and extreme fire behavior

There are currently more than 1,800 personnel on this fire and orders have been placed for more resources. But with several other fires burning throughout the state it’s not clear if they’ll all be granted.

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