SQF Complex Fire threatening pieces of history in Sierra Nevadas

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TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) — Mandatory evacuation orders increased Friday as the SQF Complex Fire continues to grow.

It’s now 128,902 acres and 12% contained. People in the areas of Mineral King and Silver City are now under a mandatory evacuation.

“It’s a beautiful valley. Really a paradise for hikers, backpackers and then a very historical cabin community, one of the oldest cabin communities in the Sierra Nevada,” Lisa Monteiro the executive director of the Mineral King Preservation Society said.

She said losing the area would be devastating.

What’s known as the Honeymoon Cabin was built in 1914 as part of a resort. It’s the last part standing after surviving avalanches and now houses a collection of pieces telling the area’s history.

Most of the items have been taken to safety, but the most important might not be saved.

“The actual exhibits inside aren’t the full history. The cabin is the most historic thing there,” Monteiro said.

The fire is now making its way over Dennison Mountain.

“Of course with it making it’s way over this ridge. This is now affecting the Three Rivers area. They are now under (an evacuation) order and Silver City and Mineral King are also now under an evacuation order,” Toni Davis with Cal Fire said.

The SQF Complex Fire has been burning for nearly a month and continues to grow.

Davis said she’s not sure when the western zone will see containment.

“I wish I had that date, but I do not. I hope everyday that I see it. But I know this terrain. I know the thickness of the brush,” she said.

Monteiro said there are more than 100 cabins in the area, each with a piece of the past at stake.

“Some of them going back 6 or 7 generations with families. It would be a devastating loss for the history of the Sierra Nevada for sure,” she said.

Tulare County is launching a hotline for people affected by the fire the number is (559) 802-9790.

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