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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
Phone: 559-920-1588
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Denise Alonzo
Phone: 559-539-2607
Hours: 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Alicia Embrey
Phone: 559-339-4063
Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sequoia Complex (#SQFComplex) Update, Wed, Sept 16

SQF Complex Wildfire
News – 9/16/2020

East Castle Zone SQF Complex

Sequoia and Inyo National Forests

September 16, 2020

Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1

Mike Goicoechea, Incident Commander

 East Castle Zone Information Line: (559) 697-5148, 8 AM-8 PM   

East Castle Zone Website:

East Castle Zone Email:




Twitter: @sequoiaforest and @Inyo_NF

Evacuation Info:

West Castle Zone Information Line: (916) 618-3195

West Castle Zone Media Line: (559) 635-8206

West Castle Zone Website:

West Castle Zone Email Updates (sign up):

Evacuation Info:

Facebook:  @CALFIRE_TUU      Twitter: @CALFIRETUU

Incident Statistics

Location: 25 miles N of Kernville, CA

Date of origin: 8/19/20  

Cause: Lightning

Size: 114,320 acres         

Containment: 12%

Cost: $28.6 million          

Injuries: 14

Civilians evacuated: 3,183

Structures threatened: 1,683

Structures destroyed: 105


Hand Crews: 14

Engines: 70

Water-tenders: 19          

Dozers: 11

Helicopters: 23 

Personnel: 1001

Firefighter and public safety are the number one priority as we continue to battle this blaze.  On September 14, Northern Rockies Team 1 joined forces with CAL FIRE Team 6 in Unified Command.  Yesterday, September 15, Sequoia National Park also became an integral part of the Unified Command structure.  Although the fire perimeter will be divided into a West Zone and an East Zone we come together as ONE Team to share resources and implement strategies to protect life safety and values at risk.

Today at 7:00 a.m., CAL FIRE Team 6 took command of the West Zone of the Castle Fire.

EAST CASTLE ZONE SQF COMPLEX:  Acreages are 113,498 acres for the Castle Fire and 822 acres for Shotgun fire, for a total of 114,320 acres. The complex is currently 12% contained.

Castle Fire: The priority for the Castle fire is the continued firefighting effort around communities that are on the southwestern area of the fire. On Tuesday, the fire aligned itself to go towards Ponderosa from both northeast and northwest.  Firefighting efforts continued through the night, providing structure protection.  A burnout operation to create a black buffer from the progressing fire is currently being completed around the community of Ponderosa. Actions will be implemented to 190. 

The fire also aligned with fuels south of 190 and will continue to impact Camp Nelson through today. Air resources continue to be used heavily in the area. On Tuesday alone, 100,000 gallons of retardant were used from the mobile retardant base at Camp Nelson. The CAL FIRE team worked on the northwest corner of the fire, near the Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest.

In Sequoia National Park, crews have completed structure protection work on the Kern Canyon Ranger station. On the east side of the fire, crews continue to construct direct fireline as the fire progresses towards Beach Meadows and will continue to work around the point of the fire finger. 

The SQF Complex is the top priority fire in southern California. Nationally, over 31,000 personnel are engaged in the nation’s wildland firefighting efforts.

Shotgun Fire:  The fire continues to exhibit low intensity surface fire and is currently 822 acres. 

Weather: Relative humidity levels will be extremely low which will result in fire behavior early today and through the night. An upper trough will approach the California coast on Wednesday, as this system approaches, the ridge winds will become more southwesterly through the day. Thursday’s weather will bring slightly cooler temperatures and a slight chance for a shower. Winds will become gusty out of the west-southwest on Friday. 

Smoke: Continued smoke will be in the area. For current air quality, visit:

Evacuations and Closures:

  • Evacuation Orders and Warnings Tulare County may be found at
  • Tulare County residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency notifications at  
  • The Red Cross has evacuation centers atPorterville Community College and the North Exeter Community Building. Also, call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or
  • All National Forests in California are currently closed as of September 9, 2020.
  • Sequoia National Park has a full park closure, Kings Canyon National Park remains open at this time.
  • The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Office has issued a temporary emergency closure.
  • For current information on California Highways, visit . Other road closures may be in effect.
  • The current Temporary Flight Restriction (9/15/20) may be found by clicking here. The use of drones over the fire is also prohibited.

Priorities include: Communities listed in the above evacuation orders, Casa Vieja, Blackrock Ranger Station, Rogers Camp, Beach Meadows, Monache Meadows, structures along the Lloyd Meadows Road, Freeman Grove, the President George H.W. Bush Tree, Camp Whitsett, archeological values, Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog and Little Kern Golden Trout Critical Habitats, Pacific Fisher habitats, OSA, Beach, and Beck Meadows, trailheads and facilities.

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