Crews expect to face ‘active’ fire behavior on the fire line of the SQF Complex Fire

Local News

(US Forest Service)

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) –Firefighters expect to face “active” fire behavior Saturday along the fire lines of the SQF Complex Fire as it continues to burn in the Sequoia and Inyo National Forests.

Instability in the atmosphere could create a high potential for the fire to exhibit erratic fire behavior, said Mike Goicoechea, Incident Commander. The acreage for the fire, consisting of the Castle Fire and Shotgun Fire, remains at 67,516 acres and it is 12% contained.

New evacuation orders were issued around 12:30 p.m. for the community of Doyle Springs, Balch Park and Blue Ridge, according to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Evacuation orders remain in effect for the following communitites:

  • Camp Nelson
  • Coy Flat
  • Mountain Aire
  • Pierpoint
  • Alpine Village
  • Sequoia Crest
  • Redwood Drive
  • Ponderosa
  • Cedar Slopes
  • Pyles Boys Camp
Firefighters use protective wrap around the G.W. Bush Sequoia Tree in Freeman Creek Grove (US Forest Service)

Fire crews on the western flank of the fire, near Camp Nelson, were presented with challenging weather conditions, with winds pushing the blaze west. At about a mile and a half north of White Meadow, the fire became active and jumped over the containment line with a smoke column visible in the area.

But by nightfall, the winds had shifted back in firefighter’s favor.

Goicoechea said the western edge of the fire continues to be challenging for crews. Due to its complexity, terrain, values at risk, and the safety of firefighters and the public, fire managers are slowly implementing strategies that have a high probability of success.

The incident commander reminded firefighters that the effort to contain the flames was a “marathon, not a sprint.”

Crews plan to continue to watch the western flank of the fire on Saturday and plan to create controlled fires ahead of the mainline of flames to strengthen existing containment lines if conditions allow.

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