The Windy Fire is 21,598 acres with 3% containment. It is burning on the Tule River Indian Reservation and in Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest in Tulare County. The fire grew yesterday afternoon across the Western Divide Highway (M107) and south to Johnsondale, Camp Whitsitt, and towards the Kern River. Fire also burned north reaching the Castle Fire burn scar from last year affecting the communities of Peppermint, Camp Nelson, Ponderosa, and Quaking Aspen.
Firefighters worked around the clock engaged in protecting structures in the affected communities. When possible, firefighting resources continue to go directly along the fire perimeter, strengthening dozer lines and improving the roads to create an opportunity to hold fire.
While cooler temperatures are expected over the fire area, windy conditions will also increase todayA RED FLAG WARNING is in place today until 5:00 pm. The terrain is steep, and like most of California, the vegetation is extremely dry. This fire is actively backing downslope with burning logs rolling downhill causing uphill runs. Firefighters are preparing existing roads as fire breaks and working at the fire’s edge when safe. This is a full suppression fire.
The Windy Fire has burned through the Peyrone and Red Hill groves, and a portion of the Long Meadow Grove along the Trail of 100 Giants. The fire reached the edge of and skirted along the Long Meadow Grove. Generally fires can be destructive however low-intensity fires can be beneficial to giant sequoia trees. A damage assessment will be done in these groves when it is safe to do so.
Tulare County Sheriff has issued an evacuation warning for:
The temporary evacuation point, where you may find information and assistance, is at Porterville College, 100 E. College Ave. Individuals who may need assistance evacuating may call 2-1-1. Older individuals (60+) who need assistance with evacuation or information may call the senior hotline at 1-800-321-2462.
Please refer to https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 2-1-1 for more information.
Large animals can be sheltered at the International Agri-Center located at 4500 S. Laspina Street, Tulare, CA 93274.
Sequoia National Forest officials have expanded the Forest Closure area due to the fire burning across the Western Divide Highway north of Johnsondale. The west side is closed on M50 where it reaches the Forest boundary near California Hot Springs. The southern edge ties in with the northern perimeter of the French Fire closure area near White River. The northern edge ties in with the Castle Fire closure area near Ponderosa. M99, coming from Kernville is closed near Johnsondale Bridge. Please refer to https://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia for more information and a map of the closed areas.
Hunting and Fire Closures:
The Regional Fire Order that closed the Sequoia National Forest as well as the other California forest was lifted several days ago. The good news is that the Sequoia National Forest is open. However, parts of the Sequoia National Forest have been closed due to the fire danger – and for public and firefighter’s safety. The rest of the Forest is open. Please check the Sequoia National Forest web page for the maps of the closure areas (https://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia ) and go hunting outside of these areas; there are at least 4 separate closures at this time. The Forest is trying to keep as much of the forest open as possible for everyone to use.
Emergency Notification Alerts: Tulare County residents can sign up to receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.
Smoke Advisory: Please visit Air Now for smoke conditions.