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Alder, Mountaineer, and Moses Fires

Unit Information

Sequoia National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1839 South Newcomb Street
Porterville, CA 93257

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Incident Contact

Fire Information
Phone: 559-539-2607 ext. 2292
Hours: 7 days a week, 7 am to 6 pm

Highlighted Activity

10/19/2018 Alder and Mountaineer Fires Area, Roads, and Trails Closure
An area closure is in place to keep the public from travelling roads and trails near the Alder and Mountaineer fires burning on the Western Divide Ranger District in Giant Sequoia National Monument,..
Closure - 10/19/2018
helicopter view of Alder fire on Oct. 21Image options: [ Full Size ]

Alder Fire and Mountaineer Fire and Moses Fire Update – October 22, 2018 at 6PM


Alder Fire

An area closure for the area surrounding the Alder and Mountaineer Fires was signed on 10-19-18.

The Alder Fire, is located about 5 miles north of Camp Nelson on the Western Divide Ranger District in Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest. It has slowly and steadily grown since it was discovered October 4th. A reconnaissance flight will continue to check it daily. It is estimated to be about 557 acres in size on 10-22-18. It is consuming dead fuels on the ground, and is actively burning throughout the day and the night.

A confine and contain suppression strategy is being used. The fire is inaccessible on foot. Firefighters have been constructing fire line where they could get to safely, and improving fire lines that were created during last summer's Pier Fire. Roads, trails, and fire lines will be utilized to confine and contain the Alder Fire where possible. The fire is located north of North Alder Creek in an area of extensive tree mortality. It is burning in a dense timber stand with heavy fuels on the ground and multiple snags overhead, which creates a safety concern for fire personnel.

The west side of the Alder Fire continues to move up slope toward the top of the ridge and west. On the 18th and 19th a helicopter with aerial firing devices was used, as a defensive indirect tactic, to ignite fire from the top of the ridge on the north side of the fire, to prevent the fire from making a crown run to the top of the ridge. This tactical firing removed the heavy continuous fuels in front of the fire, to reduce the effect of the fire in a controlled manner.

Firefighters are establishing and improving fire lines to protect the communities of Doyle Springs and Sequoia Crest. “A lot of preparation work was accomplished to protect those communities last summer during the Pier Fire,” stated District Ranger Eric La Price. “Firefighters have several options to stop it if the Alder Fire were to spread in that direction.”

The weather outlook calls for dry weather to continue over the fire area for the next few days, with slightly warmer temperatures and little change in relative humidity. An easterly flow aloft will continue with terrain influenced winds at the surface.

Smoke impacted the areas of Camp Nelson and Springville on Monday and will become more visible as the fire grows, and is expected to increase over the next week.

Approximately 157 personnel are assigned to the Alder fire, including 4 hand crews, 7 engines, 2 helicopters, 4 fallers, 3 patrols, and 1 bobcat. A night shift with 2 engines and an incident commander is also working on the Alder Fire.

Mountaineer Fire

An area closure for the area surrounding the Alder and Mountaineer Fires was signed 10-19-18.

The Mountaineer Fire is about one and a half miles east of the Alder Fire. It is located north of Summit Trailhead 13E14, in the Golden Trout Wilderness, in Western Divide Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest. The investigation of the cause of the fire determined that it was started by lightning.

A reconnaissance flight will continue to check the fire daily. It is estimated to be about 11 acres in size. The fire is inaccessible on foot. No structures or improvements are threatened, and a confine-contain suppression strategy is being used. The Mountaineer Fire is burning in timber, with heavy fuels lying on the ground.

Two crews are working on reopening and improving existing fire lines and trails on the Mountaineer Fire.

The Mountaineer Fire is producing minimal smoke, with smoldering and creeping fire behavior.



Moses Fire
During a reconnaissance flight for the Alder Fire on October 17th, the Moses Fire was discovered. It is located one mile south of Moses Mountain, west of Upper Tule Grove, at the head of Pine Creek, in the Giant Sequoia National Monument of the Western Divide Ranger District on the Sequoia National Forest. Smoke may be visible from Balch Park Road. The Moses Fire is being monitored by air and is unstaffed at this time. No structures are at risk.


For additional information, please call the Western Divide Ranger District (559) 539-2607, extension 2292.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseAlder, Mountaineer, And Moses Fires-lightning Caused.
Date of OriginThursday October 04th, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM
LocationAlder-5 miles N of Camp Nelson, in Giant Sequoia Natl Monument. Mountaineer-N of Summit trailhead and 1.5 miles E of Alder Fire, in Golden Trout Wilderness. Moses Fire-1 mile south of Moses Mtn.
Incident CommanderAlder- Robert Benik and Angel Reyes. Mountaineer- Jeremy Bush and AV Valencia.
Coordinates36.216 latitude, -118.62 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel200
Size557 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained3%
Estimated Containment DateThursday November 15th, 2018 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

The Alder Fire is burning in timber, with heavy fuels on the ground, in an area of extensive tree mortality. The Mountaineer Fire is burning in timber, with heavy fuels lying on the ground. Moses Fire is burning in a patch of timber.

Significant Events

A strategic aerial firing operation was initiated on the north side of the Alder Fire on 10-18-18, to prevent the fire from making a run to the top of the ridge. Moderate fire behavior was observed, with backing, flanking, and uphill runs.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Crews are establishing and improving fire lines, and preparing hose lays for the Alder Fire, to protect the communities of Doyle Springs and Sequoia Crest. Firefighters are reopening and improving existing fire lines and trails for the Mountaineer fire. All 3 fires continued to be monitored by air each day.

Projected Incident Activity

Projected acreage increase on the Alder Fire with increased spread to the west.

Remarks

Alder Fire is approximately 557 acres, and has about 157 personnel assigned. Mountaineer Fire is approximately 11 acres, and has about 43 personnel assigned. Moses fire is .1 acre and is unstaffed. The Alder Fire was discovered on October 4th. The Mountaineer Fire was discovered October 13th, and Moses fire was discovered on October 17th. All 3 fires are burning in the Western Divide Ranger District, Sequoia National Forest. The cause of the Mountaineer Fire was determined to be lightning.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Dry weather will continue over the fire area for the next few days, with slightly warmer temperatures and little change in relative humidity. Easterly flow aloft will continue with terrain influenced winds at the surface.