Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
National Park Service
47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271
Wilderness Fires Continue to Burn in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. September 19, 2020 – Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks continue to have two active fires burning in designated wilderness with no threats to people or property. The Rattlesnake and Moraine Fires were both caused by lighting and continue to show slow and minor fire growth. The Rattlesnake Fire is 2,078 acres and the Moraine Fire is 575 acres.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are in a highly fire-adapted ecosystem. This means that fire has shaped this landscape for thousands of years and the plants and animals have evolved to live with fire. The main example within the parks are the sequoia trees themselves. Not only does the giant sequoia have thick bark to provide protection from high heat sources, the cones have also developed to open only during periods of high temperatures to release seeds, generating new trees. This type of cone is referred to as serotinous. Sequoia trees would not exist today if there was not fire to support them.
In addition to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks full park closures, park managers have implemented a designated wilderness closure in response to the Rattlesnake Fire. Beginning at the south boundary of Sequoia National Park with the intersection of the Great Western Divide, north along the Great Western Divide to Kaweah Gap, southeast to Chagoopa Plateau along the base of the Kaweah Peaks to the Kern Canyon, north to Junction Meadow and the Colby Pass Trail (not included), east along the High Sierra Trail (not included) to the John Muir Trail/PCT (not included), south along the PCT (not included) to the park boundary, and west along the park boundary back to the point of origin.
Smoke remains prevalent in the park and air quality is unhealthy for all people. To learn more, please visit fire.airnow.gov
To learn more about our fires, please visit inciweb.nwcg.gov and click Rattlesnake or Moraine Fire.
About Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ Fire Management Program
For over fifty years, our mission has been to use the full range of options and strategies available to manage fire in the parks. This includes protecting park resources, employees, and the public from unwanted fire; building and maintaining fire resilient ecosystems; reducing the threat to local communities from wildfires emanating from the parks or adjacent lands; and recruiting, training, and retaining a professional fire management workforce.