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SQF Complex

Unit Information

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

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Incident Contacts

Sequoia National Forest
Email: sqfcomplex2020@gmail.com
Phone: 559-920-1588
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Denise Alonzo
Email: denise.alonzo@usda.gov
Phone: 559-539-2607
Hours: 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Alicia Embrey
Email: alicia.embrey@usda.gov
Phone: 559-339-4063
Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Highlighted Activity

10/14/2020 Additional Recreation Sites Open in the Sequoia National Forest
Forest revises Sequoia (SQF) Complex Closure Order, opening additional recreation opportunities in the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument  On October 14, 2020, the Sequoia.
Announcement - 10/14/2020
Photo of CONAFOR Crew 1 on SQF ComplexImage options: [ Full Size ]

Operations Map |  Fire History Map |    Land Ownership Map    |  Daily Smoke Update   |    Facebook         

Cool, dry and windy conditions will affect the fire starting today and last through tomorrow. The National Weather Service office has issued a Red Flag Warning thru 5:00 p.m. tomorrow for very gusty winds and extremely low relative humidity. Firefighters in the southern half of the fire are focusing on suppression repair as well as finding and extinguishing any hot spots along the fires perimeter that could spread.

Crews have been extracted from the northeast portion of the fire in anticipation of the cold and windy weather. That part of the fire will be monitored by air resources as weather conditions allow. Two contingency groups of firefighters have been placed in areas of concern to take immediate action on new growth of the Castle Fire or initial attack action on new fires. 

Photo to the right is one of our five CONAFOR Crews from Mexico assisting with suppression efforts on the SQF Complex, photo provided by Juan Najera, BLM.  Thank you!

The Shotgun Fire was fully contained at 841 acres on October 6, 2020. The Castle Fire is currently 75% contained. Much of the uncontained areas on the Castle Fire include steep terrain that is inaccessible to firefighters and will remain monitored by aircraft. Pockets of burning vegetation may also generate occasional smoke within the perimeter of the fire area.

Recently burned areas are at a greater risk of mudflows and flash floods. Fires eliminate vegetation that can hold soil in place and charred ground may be unable to absorb water. Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) efforts are focused on the protection of human life, safety and property. Rapid burn assessments identify areas that have increased potential for floods and mudflows. For more information, please visit the SQF Complex BAER Inciweb page https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7240/

The lightning-caused Castle and Shotgun Fires were discovered on August 19, 2020, and later managed as one incident named the SQF Complex. The Castle Fire burned on portions of the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument (129,000 acres), Inyo National Forest (12,290 acres), Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (16,289 acres), lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (728 acres), State (4037 acres), County, and private lands and threatened the Tule River Indian Reservation.

All equipment in the field no longer in use must be ‘backhauled’ to camp. Firefighters will pinpoint a GPS location, note the type and amount of equipment, and arrange for ‘backhaul’ either by truck or helicopter, depending on the location. There is a lot of land to cover. Workers will clean and refurbish these assets and send them to the South Zone Fire Cache located in Ontario, CA for use on the next incident.  This job is taken very seriously in order to reduce costs on wildfire incidents. 

CLOSURES AND LOCAL ASSISTANCE:  

Sequoia National Forest - Forest Closure Order 0513-20-36 and map of closure area

USDA Forest Service Region 5 Fire Restrictions in place through October 30, 2020    

Inyo National Forest closures - Forest Order No. 05-04-51-20-16

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Current Conditions
 
Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Office has issued a temporary emergency closure. 

Southern California Edison (SCE) is working to safely and quickly restore power. Call 1 800 250-7339 or Check www.sce.com/safety/assistance-center
 
Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest - https://www.fire.ca.gov/programs/resource-management/resource-protection-improvement/demonstration-state-forests/mountain-home/

Tulare County has been officially added to the Federal Major Disaster Declaration for Wildfires in California, providing individual assistance programs and resources to those impacted by the SQF Complex Fire. For more information - https://tularecounty.ca.gov/county/ 

For more information visit: https://tularecounty.ca.gov/recovers/   

Tulare County has a Local Assistance Center (LAC) at the Government Plaza, 1055 West Henderson Avenue, Porterville, CA. Hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. A satellite LAC is open in Camp Nelson on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Tulare County Local Assistance Center (LAC) Hotline for affected citizens is 559-802-9790.  A satellite LAC is open in Camp Nelson on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.     

Be prepared after a wildfire  For more information visit: www.readyforwildfire.org/post-wildfire/returning-home/ 

Cooperating and Assisting Organizations: Southern California Edison, Tulare County Fire, Tulare County Sheriff, Tulare County OES, Tulare County Roads, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Conservation Corps, California Office of Emergency Services, AT&T, Verizon, California Department of Transportation, California Air National Guard, and California National Guard. CONAFOR, Mexico. 

Smoke: Current air quality may be found at https://fire.airnow.gov/

Alert: To receive emergency notifications regarding evacuations and critical events sign up at alerttc.com

Safety Message: Prepare for the possibility of fire in advance, visit www.ready.gov/wildfires

We appreciate the outpouring of gratitude from the public and community organizations for our firefighters, including CONAFOR Fire Crews from Mexico and the United States. For those who would like the opportunity to thank our firefighters, you can tag us on Facebook at @sequoiaforest or send cards to: Sequoia National Forest Headquarters, ATTN: SQF Complex Firefighters, 1839 South Newcomb Street Porterville, CA 93257. Please note we are only accepting cards and thank you for your support.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning
Date of OriginWednesday August 19th, 2020 approx. 07:15 AM
Location25 miles north of Kernville, CA
Incident CommanderBrian Pisarek, Eastern Area IMT
Incident DescriptionWildfire Complex
Coordinates36.255 latitude, -118.497 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel490
Size169,757 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained75%
Estimated Containment DateSunday November 01st, 2020 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Timber (Litter and Understory)

Chaparral (6 feet)

Timber (Grass and Understory)

Fuel models located within the fire area vary with elevation and some have limited fire history. These include stands of dense mixed conifer with heavy brush below timber lines. Fire is burning within areas of significant tree mortality contributing to significant fire resistance to control efforts.

Significant Events

Divisions D/I/N/L/T/Y/Z: Smoldering, creeping, interior islands continue to burn.

Divisions U and E: Active flanking, backing, and short range spotting with single tree torching.

Resources removed from Div U due to upcoming weather event.

Spotting distances of 300-600 feet and the POI will be 50% at all elevations of the fire.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Point protection for critical values at risk continue to be evaluated in Div U/I

Continue to identify containment opportunities in the north and northeast corners of the fire.

Continue direct attack and suppression repair.

Projected Incident Activity

Active fire mostly confined to the north west corner of the fire in Division U and T around Homers Nose and Cahoon Meadow.

Fire burning mid slope on the north east corner of the fire remains active in several fuel concentrations mostly interior of the fire edge.

Remarks

AREA CLOSURES:

Sequoia National Park closed in the Mineral King area and some wilderness lands.

Sequoia National Forest Western Divide CLOSED, while the Hume Lake and Kern River Ranger Districts remain OPEN.

Inyo National Forest- OPEN. Exception: Some Wilderness Areas in the Sierra Nevada

Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest and Balch Park Campground are closed.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

The eastern half half of the fire had single digit humidity and wind gusts 30-35 mph. The western half was under low clouds and humidity of 80-100 percent. At one point, about 7 miles separated the 2 extremes. It appears the higher terrain of Mt Whitney and the surrounding range largely blocked the strong spill over winds experienced to the north and the south.

A Red Flag Warning remains in effect through 1700 hrs. Tuesday for strong winds and low humidity covering the southern Sierra, including the SQF Complex. However, the warning conditions may not affect this fire area. Locally breezy winds and dry air will remain through Tuesday morning with gusts around 20 mph and humidity in the upper single digits and lower teens. Winds will ease the remainder of the day while the drier air remains in place. High pressure returns starting Wednesday and brings mild and very dry weather for at least the next several days. There are no significant fire weather concerns heading into the weekend.