Sequoia National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Porterville, CA 93257
For Immediate Release - November 18, 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 4,503 acresFire Discovered: October 4, 2018Cause: LightningContainment: 55% containedResources: 65 personnel: 4 crews, 5 engines, 1 dozer, 1 water tender, 2 T- 1 helicopters, 1 T- 2 helicopter.
The Alder wildfire is slowly advancing northwest towards an area burned in the 2016 Hidden wildfire. The Alder wildfire is being held on a strategic containment line in the Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest. The Alder wildfire is creeping to the northeast into Jacobson Meadow. The west area of the Alder wildfire has backed to the Tule River and is holding. Aerial firing and hand firing operations were successful in the area of Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest. The containment line will be reinforced and monitored for slop-overs. Aerial firing operations will be used as needed in the northwest area of the wildfire. These operations are contingent on suitable visibility with smoke conditions.
The Alder Wildfire is holding in the southwest part of the fire. Firefighters will continue to monitor this area. Fire resources will maintain a presence in both communities of Doyle Springs and Sequoia Crest.
Aerial reconnaissance flights continue to monitor the fire each day.
CAL FIRE is a supporting agency assisting with fire containment efforts.
Mountaineer WildfireLocation: North of Summit Trailhead, in the Golden Trout WildernessAcres Burned: Approximately 1,246 acresFire Discovered: October 13, 2018 Cause: LightningContainment: 50%Resources: 30 total personnel: 1 crew, and 1 T- 3 engine, 1 T-2 helicopter.
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. Aerial firing may be used as needed.
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 reached 19 acres in size. There is visible smoke. It is being monitored by aerial reconnaissance flights. It continues to smolder in a secluded stand of trees, surrounded by rock.
WEATHER OUTLOOKDry weather and light terrain driven winds can be expected today. An upper level ridge of high pressure remains in control. Minimum humidity will be in the teens with continued poor overnight recoveries for the next two nights. Maximum temperatures are 50-54°F. Winds southeast 3-6mph. Downslope winds transition to upslope winds at 1000.
SMOKE OUTLOOKExpect conditions similar to yesterday. At times, activity in the Alder wildfire may increase smoke levels at locations in close proximity to the fire. 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. The smoke remains trapped under the inversion layer. This pattern is expected to persist for the next few days. 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/SouthernSierra
Future 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.