Recreation sites and trails along upper Kern River shut down due to Windy Fire

Local News

Flames lick up a tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A massive wildfire burning in Tulare County has now forced closures for recreation sites and trails along the upper Kern River.

On Saturday, Sequoia National Forest officials announced that a closure order has been issued for all recreation sites along the upper Kern River, from the Riverkern Day Use area north to the Johnsondale Bridge, due to the Windy Fire.

Packsaddle Trail and the Cannell Meadow National Recreation Trail have also been ordered to close.

“The Order is needed to provide for public safety while the Windy Fire, west of this area, continues to exhibit extreme fire behavior due to dry fuel conditions, gusty winds, and short-range spot fires,” Forest Service officials wrote about the closure.

Crews work to contain the Windy Fire burning in the Sequoia National Forest. (Photo: California Interagency Incident Management Team 11)

The closure order is expected to be in effect through October 31.

As of Sunday evening, no evacuation orders or warnings have been issued for areas along the upper Kern River.

Officials say if the fire changes directions and evacuations are needed, County Mountain Road 99 will serve as the main evacuation route.

The latest update provided by the National Forest Service puts the Windy Fire at 74,531 acres with 2% containment.

The fire was sparked during a lightning storm on Thursday, September 9, and is currently burning in the Tule River Indian Reservation and the Sequoia National Forest.

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