Firefighters struggle with containment as KNP Complex Fire rages in Tulare County

Local News

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – Crews working the KNP Complex saw a dramatic increase in fire behavior and a drop in containment over the last few days.

The fire is now 81,473 acres with containment falling from 20% to 11%.

“Yesterday we had a pretty rough day on this fire,” Clay Jordan the superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks said.

He said the fire grew 14,000 acres Monday, mostly to the north.

“The meteorologist (and) the fire behavior specialist had anticipated that we could expect some pretty extreme fire behavior, and we got just that,” Jordan said.

He now hopes the worst is behind them, saying Tuesday saw just 2,000 acres of growth along with clearer skies.

“We were able to get some aircraft over the fire and have some recon flights to assess the situation,” Chad Rice an operations section chief said.

He said smoke is expected to clear again Wednesday and the specialized meteorologist assigned to the KNP Complex is predicting a possibility of some much-needed rain later this week.

“He’s predicting the weather just for this fire area, not for over east of us or over west of us, but just for our fire area, and in fact, I can ask him what’s the weather going to be on this ridge tomorrow at noon and he will give me a forecast just for that ridge,” Stewart Turner a fire behavior analyst said.

Because the fire is so large, agencies involved in the fight have decided to split it into a north and south zone, meaning a second highly specialized fire team has been called and will start transitioning in as soon as they arrive.

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