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June Lightning 2020

Unit Information

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

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Lightning caused fire June 2020Image options: [ Full Size ]

Kernville, Ca.  June 12, 2020Fire Management personnel on the Kern River Ranger District have successfully suppressed all lightning fires discovered last week, due to a thunderstorm passing over the area.

      Smith, discovered June 4, at 11:45 a.m. was reported by a fixed wing aircraft flying reconnaissance over the Domeland Wilderness. Smith was reported as burning in brush and ground litter with a few heavies on a north facing slope.  Fire Management’s initial attack strategy consisted of Helicopter 523 (H523) and a heavy heli-tanker out of Porterville utilizing water drops in containment efforts. H523’s crew and Crew 40 took suppression actions on this fire. All hose and flagging has been pulled.  Size: 2.0 acres   Status: Called OUT June 8, 2020

      Havilah, discovered June 5, at 2:30 p.m. by the Kern County Fire Department (KCFD). The Havilah Fire was reported to be north of Breckenridge, ¼ acre in size, burning at a slow rate of spread, with moderate precipitation, and heavy winds (grounding aircraft). The fire was a 25x25 spot burning in grass and brush, later contained by Crew 8 and Engine 45 (out of Havilah). Size: 0.1    Status:  Contained at 3:54 p.m. and OUT at 5:40 p.m.

      Tree, discovered June 5, at 6:08 p.m. by Air Attack 410.  Tree fire was a lightning struck tree (20x20), north of Cedar Creek Campground.  Fire Managers responded AA410, H523 and Crew 8. This fire was within the old Cedar Fire scar. 90% contained on June 8th.  Size: Single tree with a 20x20 spot.    Status: OUT  June 8, 2020

Fires showing up days, and weeks after a thunderstorm are referred to as “holdover” or “sleepers”, a term used by wildland firefighting personnel. Sleepers are trees struck by lightning, sparking a fire within the trunk which brews unnoticeable for long periods of time.  In time, oxygen (air) makes its way in to “fuel” the fire, eventually becoming large enough to put noticeable smoke in the air.  Or, the fire spreads to adjacent ground fuels when they dry out enough to burn.

For further information please contact the Kernville Ranger Station at (760) 549-9533, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginThursday June 04th, 2020 approx. 11:45 AM
Location3 individual locations
Incident CommanderKRRD Fire Mgmt.
Incident DescriptionMultiple Lightning Caused Wildland Fires
Coordinates35.956 latitude, -118.236 longitude

Current Situation

Size6 Acres
Fuels Involved

Grass, brush, and standing trees

Significant Events

All lightning fires are out at this time.



Summary contains individual fire information

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