EXETER, Calif. (KSEE) — The SQF Complex fire has burned nearly 90,000 acres and is 12% contained.
The U.S forest service is the responding agency and says lightning-sparked the fire several weeks ago.
Almost 800 firefighters are on the ground protecting homes and trying to build containment lines.
“About 10 o’clock we confirmed that the fire was starting to impact Sequoia Crest and Alpine Village and we anticipate loss in that area, the fire was very intense as we were doing aerial recon with helicopters the pilot told us the wind was moving at 57 km, so that’s over 60 miles an hour, and moving very quickly down that slope pushing fire spread as you can see quite a long distance into the west,” a fire official said.
The sudden spread of the blaze prompting new evacuation warnings for Balch park to Three Rivers along South Fork. The American Red Cross opened up evacuation points for those impacted in Porterville and Exeter.
“We know that disasters, especially wildfires can be difficult, let alone a wildfire during a pandemic, so the red cross is here to help, “Nicole Maul with Central California American Red Cross said.
This fire sparked a few weeks ago as the Castle Fire, but a second fire called the Shotgun Fire broke out soon after. Fire officials ended merging the two.
A total of 779 personnel are battling the fire, crews have over eight helicopters and over 2,000 people have to evacuate the area.
Sheriff Mike Boudreaux with the Tulare County Sheriff’s office is pleading with residents from Three Rivers to be ready to leave at a moments notice
“We’ll tell Three Rivers that it is time to take a serious look at packing some stuff and being prepared if you are in the evacuation area, that’s what it is a warning, but if it gets to the mandatory side, we’re going to ask you to leave,” Boudreaux said.
The Red Cross is assisting those impacted by the California Wildfires. You can help. Click this link to donate online: https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/ksee24-pub.html/