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KNP Complex Update for October 27, 2021
News - 10/27/2021
October 27, 2021
Acres: 88,307 acres
Start Date: September 10, 2021
Jurisdiction: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks; Sequoia National Forest
Resources: 529 personnel including: 8 crews, 15 engines, 4 water tenders, 2 dozers and 6 helicopters
Firefighters are slowly getting back out on the KNP Complex following the inclement weather. Today division Supervisors began to assess each division around the fire’s perimeter to determine whether it was safe enough to redeploy firefighters. Crews were able to access the lower elevations near Ash Mountain to continue suppression repair work. A small mudslide was discovered on Mineral King Road, roughly 1-2 miles from the park’s entrance. Before the containment percentage can be increased, crews need to assess the fire’s edge.
While the rain received on the fire has greatly increased the fuel moisture, the fire is still not “out.” Rain alone is not enough to completely extinguish a wildfire, for the same reason that aerial firefighting, known as “air drops” or “bucket drops” generally cannot stop a wildfire alone. Rain duration is just as important as the amount. An excessive amount of rain, over a short period of time, will run off before the large fuels have had enough time to absorb it. If heavy fuels, such as large logs, cannot absorb enough rain to penetrate the deep layers, it will not eliminate the heat within the fuel. Similarly, if the moisture runs down-hill before the soil can absorb it, any roots or organic material beneath the surface will continue to smolder. This runoff also can result in mudslides and debris flows. Heavy fuels burned by wildfires can smolder for as long as a year or more after the fire has been declared “contained.” Nevertheless, by wetting down the fuels, even slightly, it can slow a fire’s progress very effectively and give firefighters the time they need to contain the fire and mop it up before the next dry spell.
After a fire has stopped advancing, or the fire behavior has decreased, firefighters will patrol the burned areas, known as “the black,” to manually put out embers and locate hot spots among the dirt and ash. This technique, called “cold trailing” involves firefighters working together in a grid pattern, touching the ground, the rocks, and any larger vegetation with their bare hands to search for heat. The firefighters will dig down to locate and extinguish the source of the heat. Crews will cold trail inward from the fire’s edge anywhere from 66 to 100 feet or more, to make sure any smoldering areas will not reignite and threaten the fire containment line. Cold trailing is one of many operations firefighters will conduct during the “mop up” phase of a fire. “Mop up” refers to the method firefighters use for extinguishing or removing burning material near control lines, felling snags, and trenching logs to prevent rolling after an area has burned, to make a fire safe, or to reduce residual smoke.
Weather: High pressure will bring further warming and drying through the end of the week with light terrain driven winds. A weak disturbance will move in over northern California this weekend bringing a little cooling and a slight increase in humidity and winds.
Safety: Please be aware of and respect closures and reduce speeds when traveling in and around the fire area.
Evacuations: Visit: https://nifc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=4b2ac27b5c8943ed92c0e77aa94daca0.
Closures: Visit: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/7838/.
PUBLIC INFORMATION AND MEDIA: (925) 588-6773
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