Sequoia National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Porterville, CA 93257
For Immediate Release - November 16, 2018
Information: Western Divide Ranger District (559) 539-2607 Current Fire Information: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6238/
The Alder, Mountaineer, and Moses Wildfires, located in the Western Divide Ranger District, are burning in dense timber stands with extensive tree mortality and heavy fuel loading on the ground. In many places, aerial ignition from a helicopter is used due to safety concerns for ground-based firefighters. Aerial firing operations are often used to moderate fire behavior by selectively reducing pockets of heavy fuel on the ground ahead of the fire. A confine and contain strategy is being used to suppress the wildfires.
An area closure is in effect around the Alder and Mountaineer fires, including a portion of the Golden Trout Wilderness.
ALDER WILDFIRE Location: Five miles north of Camp Nelson above North Alder CreekAcres Burned: Approximately 3450 acresFire Discovered: October 4, 2018Cause: LightningContainment: 55% containedResources: 125 total personnel: 3 crews, 5 engines, 1 type 1 helicopter, 1 type 2 helicopter.
The Alder wildfire is advancing north towards an area burned in the 2016 Hidden wildfire and northwest to Silver Creek and Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest. The Alder wildfire is creeping to the northeast into Johnson Meadow. A contingency dozer line and a hoselay is being positioned in a strategic area on Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest. Aerial firing operations and hand firing are planned for today on the Northwest area of the wildfire. Aerial firing operations are contingent on suitable visibility with smoke conditions.
Aerial reconnaissance flights continue to monitor the fire each day.
CAL FIRE is a supporting agency assisting with fire containment efforts.
The Alder fire is holding in the southwest part of the fire. Fire resources will continue to monitor this area. Fire resources will make a presence in both communities of Doyle Springs and Sequoia Crest.
MOUNTAINEER FIRE Location: North of Summit Trailhead, in the Golden Trout WildernessAcres Burned: Approximately 1246 acresFire Discovered: October 13, 2018 Cause: LightningContainment: 50%Resources: 48 total personnel: 1 crew, and 1 type 2 helicopter, 1 type 3 engine.
The Mountaineer Wildfire continues to burn north of Summit Trailhead northeast along South Mountaineer Creek, and towards Jacobson Creek in the Golden Trout Wilderness. It is located a half-mile east of the Alder Wildfire.
Fire intensity is low as the wildfire continues to spread through dead trees and ground litter.
Firefighters will continue to patrol the perimeter lines along the Summit Trail and handline to secure any potential slop-overs.
Suppression repair will continue on contingency handlines south of the Mountaineer wildfire.
MOSES WILDFIRE Location: One mile south of Moses MountainAcres Burned: 19 acresFire Discovered: October 17, 2018 Cause: Lightning
The Moses Wildfire has increased activity, it has grown in size. There is visible smoke. It is being monitored by aerial reconnaissance flights. It continues to smolder in a secluded stand of trees.
WEATHER OUTLOOKLight, terrain-driven winds are expected today. Dry weather will persist into early next week. Relative humidity values will remain low ranging from 16-21% daytime, maximum temperature will be 55-57°F. Relative humidity values should slowly increase this weekend. Winds are from the Northwest 4-6 mph. Downslope winds will shift to upslope by 1000.
SMOKE OUTLOOKActivity in the Alder, Mountaineer, and Moses Wildfires will increase smoke levels at locations in close proximity to the wildfires (Johnsondale and Kernville). A strong inversion layer and very low wind speeds continue to limit dispersion throughout the entire forecast area. Smoke from the Southern Sierra wildfires is combining with smoke from other large wildfires throughout the state. This pattern is expected to persist into early next week. Information about air quality and what you can do to reduce the effects of smoke can be found at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s website http://www.valleyair.org/aqinfo/wildfires.htm and https://tools.airfire.org/outlooks/SouthernSierraFuture updates will be posted only if conditions change for the Alder, Mountaineer, and Moses wildfires. Fire personnel will continue to be assigned as needed until the fire threat has subsided. Additionally, the wildfires will be monitored until extinguished by winter weather.