TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Mandatory evacuation orders have now been issued for some homeowners in Tulare County as the KNP Complex Fire continues to explode in size inside Sequoia National Park.
On Sunday evening, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation orders for the Silver City and Cabin Cove areas on Mineral King Road.
The Sheriff’s Office says a mandatory evacuation order means there is an immediate threat to life and property and that anyone in the area needs to leave now.
An evacuation warning has also been issued for a portion of Three Rivers.
The evacuation warning covers all areas on both sides of Highway 198, east of the intersection of North Fork Drive, and includes all side roads that connect to Highway 198 east of North Fork Drive.
The Sheriff’s Office says the evacuation warning does not include areas along North Fork or South Fork Drive.
An evacuation warning is not a mandatory order to evacuate, but the Sheriff’s Office says homeowners should be prepared to leave if needed.
The American Red Cross of the Central Valley says it will be opening a temporary evacuation point at the Exeter Memorial Building at 324 N. Kaweah Avenue in Exeter.
Red Cross officials say volunteers will be providing evacuees with safe shelter, water, snacks, and information.
The KNP Complex Fire is a combination of two wildfires currently burning in the national park– the Paradise Fire and the Colony Fire. Officials say the wildfires were ignited Thursday when a lightning storm rolled through the area.
Both fires are currently burning in areas where the terrain is steep and densely forested, making it difficult for fire crews to access them.
Crews have been using air resources to attack both fires with water and retardant drops to slow the spread.
Officials say dead trees in the area are posing a major safety concern as crews fight the Colony Fire head-on from the ground.
As of Sunday, the fires have burned a combined total of 1,037 acres with 0% containment.