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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, Tuesday, September 22

SQF Complex Wildfire
News – 9/22/2020

East Castle Zone SQF Complex

Sequoia and Inyo National Forests

September 22, 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

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

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

West Castle Zone Website:

West Castle Zone Email:

Facebook:  @CALFIRE_TUU Twitter: @CALFIRETUU

All SQF Complex Statistics

Location: 25 miles N of Kernville, CA

Date of origin: 8/19/20  

Cause: Lightning

Size: 141,600 acres         

Containment: 33%

Cost: $44.1 million          

Injuries: 15

Civilians evacuated: 3,491

Structures threatened: 3,183

Structures destroyed: 184


Hand Crews: 19

Engines: 96

Water-tenders: 36          

Dozers: 34

Helicopters: 9    

Personnel: 1,422

Containment of the SQF Complex is now 33%, an increase of 15% from yesterday’s report. Increase in structures lost is not primary residences.  The increase is to account for structures used for a variety of purposes other than dwelling.

The Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1 will transfer command of the East Castle Zone and Shotgun Fire to California Team 2 at 7 AM on September 23, 2020. “The incoming incident commander, Mike Minton, is familiar with the Sequoia National Forest, and knows some of the local agency administrators,” said Mike Goicoechea. “I am confident that this transfer will in no way have a negative effect on the ground firefighting efforts. I have full confidence that the new team will continue to protect communities and add additional containment lines to the fire.” 

The SQF Complex is currently under Unified Command between the United States Forest Service, Sequoia National Park, Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1, and CAL FIRE Team 6. Northern Rockies Team 1 is in command of the East Castle Zone (until 7 AM on September 23) and CAL FIRE Team 6 is in command of the West Castle Zone.

SQF COMPLEX-ALL ZONES:  The Castle Fire is 140,766 acres and the Shotgun Fire is 834 acres for a total of 141,600 acres.

East Castle Zone SQF Complex - Castle Fire:  For over a week, all efforts of firefighters have been focused on the defensive tactic of providing structure protection. Yesterday, crews were able to focus efforts on containment and line construction near the fire’s perimeter.

Today, work continues in the area near Ponderosa with the construction and improvement of line to buffer the community from threat of a fire front or spotting fire. Indirect line construction will continue south of Pierpoint towards a rocky outcrop that will serve as anchor. In Camp Nelson, firefighters will hotspot to eliminate threats from latent heat sources. Around the Tule Indian Reservation, crews will look to widen and improve the line along the ridge. 

Where the fire front has already passed, crews will continue their patrol of Alpine Village, Sequoia Crest, Cedar Slope, and points in-between as residual heat sources remain a threat.

With no movement on portions of the southern and eastern flanks of the fire, containment has increased to 33%. Fire perimeters will continue to be monitored by air resources. On the northeast point, the fire continues backing to the west and is now one mile from Sequoia National Park. Backcountry structure protection groups remain ready to respond in the Casa Vieja Meadows area. Direct line construction will continue in the Little Horse Meadows area.

Air resources have played an integral part of daily firefighting operations on the Sequoia Complex. Since the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team has managed the fire on September 3, there have been a total of 1,670 hours of flying time. During this time, 1.4 million gallons of water and 1.5 million gallons of retardant have been dropped on the fire. Eighty-eight thousand pounds of cargo has also been hauled to support fire operations.

East Castle Zone SQF Complex - Shotgun Fire:  Minimal growth on the fire continues; the fire is currently 834 acres. 

Weather: Slightly cooler temperatures will be over the fire area with highs between 75-82 degrees. Relative humidity levels will increase to around 16%. Winds will gust on the ridgetops out of the west.  The next few days will bring little weather change, with no rain in the forecast. It is now day 109 since the fire area received over a tenth of an inch of rain.

Evacuations, Closures and Additional Information:

Priorities include: Communities with evacuation orders and warnings, 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.

Cooperating Agencies:  Tulare County Fire Department, Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol, Tule River Tribe, California Rehabilitation Center Fire Department, California Conservation Corps, California Office of Emergency Services, and Bureau of Land Management.

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