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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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Castle Fire grows and second lightning-caused fire burning in the GTW

SQF Complex Wildfire
News – 8/22/2020

SPRINGVILLE, August 22, 2020 – The Castle Fire grew to approximately 400 acres on Friday. This lightning-caused fire was discovered Wednesday morning and quickly spread in the Golden Trout Wilderness on the Sequoia National Forest. Six hand crews walked into the fire yesterday but were unable to stop the spread due to steep rocky terrain, fire behavior, and winds.  
Today's plan is to continue to scout for opportunities to be effective with resources assigned. Firefighters will be assessing values at risk at the Forks of the Kern Trailhead, Jerkey Meadow Trailhead, and facilities along the Lloyd Meadow Road as their primary focus. The forecasted weather continues to be hot and dry, with an increasing chance of thunderstorms in the area over the weekend. Currently assigned resources include 6 hand crews, several overhead personnel, and miscellaneous fixed and rotor-wing aircraft.
Castle Fire’s growth was primarily to the northeast towards the Little Kern River. This fire is burning in extremely rough, inaccessible terrain. Air attack observed fire spreading towards the west, south of Castle Peak. They quickly brought in an air tanker and used retardant drops to keep the fire from spreading off the ridge to the west.  Roughly 50 acres burned outside the Wilderness. 
Emergency closures of Jerkey Meadow and Forks of the Kern Trailheads are in place, current Wilderness permit holders have been notified. Please refer to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7048/ for current information. An Incident Management Team has been ordered for the Castle Fire and is expected to arrive over the next few days.  
A second lightning-caused fire was discovered by aircraft working on the Castle Fire on Friday.  The Shotgun fire is located where Pistol Creek and Shotgun Creek converge in the Golden Trout Wilderness.  The Shotgun Fire is located within the burn scar of the 2017 Lion Fire and has grown to approximately 3 acres.  With most fire personnel assigned to other fires throughout California, the Forest is prioritizing firefighting resources to protect life first, then property and infrastructure. The Shotgun Fire will remain unstaffed until resources become available to put it out.