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Windy Fire

Unit Information

Sequoia National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1839 S. Newcomb St
Porterville, CA 93257

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Incident Contact

Sequoia National Forest
Email: denise.alonzo@usda.gov
Phone: 559-539-2607
Hours: Mon - Fri 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Windy Fire Update, September 21, 2021

Windy Fire Wildfire
News – 9/21/2021

VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETING TODAY AT 6PM

The public meeting will be conducted on Zoom. You do not need a Zoom account, and you will be able to ask questions. Please use this link: Join ZoomGov Meeting.

The Windy Fire is 27,183 acres with 5% containment. The fire is burning on the Tule River Indian Reservation and in the Sequoia National Forest, including the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The fire has impacted the Peyrone, the South Peyrone, the Redhill and the Long Meadow Giant Sequoia Groves. The Long Meadow Grove includes the Trail of 100 Giants. Firefighters are digging hand-line around trees and spraying water to carefully protect the Giant Sequoias along the Trail. The Johnsondale, Camp Whitsitt, Ponderosa and Quaking Aspen communities remain under an evacuation order, and firefighters have successfully protected the structures in these areas. Camp Nelson remains under an evacuation warning. The Mule Peak Lookout was destroyed in the early stages of the fire under extreme burning conditions, despite being wrapped with fire-resistant material.

On the fire’s west flank, crews and bulldozers are completing indirect control lines away from the fire’s edge in preparation for burning operations to secure that area. On the north flank, crews are constructing contingency lines, utilizing the Coy Flats area and the road system to limit fire spread. The northeast and east flanks were active yesterday along the Western Divide Highway (M107), and the fire is slowly backing downslope where fuels change from timber to brush and grass. Firefighters have assessed and are protecting structures in the Ponderosa and Peppermint areas. Firefighters are constructing direct fireline along the fire’s edge on the southeast flank in the Johnsondale area, and structures in that area remain unaffected by the fire. A spotfire south of Johnsondale has been contained and crews are working to extinguish hotspots, aided by water-dropping helicopters when visibility allows. Fire activity decreased significantly overnight. Despite warmer temperatures today, winds are predicted to be light, and fire behavior is expected to be moderate, enabling firefighters to engage the fire where it is safe to do so. An inversion layer of smoke over the fire and surrounding areas will persist through Tuesday, limiting visibility and the use of water and retardant-dropping aircraft.

Road Closures

  • Western Divide Highway (M107) is closed at North Road (21S50) intersection near Quaking Aspen Campground to M50 above California Hot Springs.
  • M99 is closed above Kernville at Sherman Pass (22S05) intersection.
  • M99 is closed north of McNally’s Fairview Lodge at 7300 Kern River Highway, north towards Sherman Pass.

Evacuations Warnings

Tulare County Sheriff has issued an evacuation warning for:

  • Camp Nelson and surrounding communities

Evacuation ORDERS

  • Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, west to M107 and M50.
  • Ponderosa and Quaking Aspen. The warning area includes M107 at Dome Rock, north to HWY 190/M90 at North Road (21S50), east to Route 21S05, at Needles Trail, south to Lloyd Meadow at Lower Peppermint Road (22S82). Should you choose to evacuate now, avoid all road closures and use HWY 190 to Porterville.

A temporary evacuation center is in place at Porterville College on 100 E. College Ave. Individuals needing assistance with 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. Visit 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 St., Tulare, CA.

Forest Closure
 
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. Sherman Pass road is closed to Blackrock. Please refer to https://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia for more information and a map of the closed areas.

Hunting in the Sequoia National Forest is possible outside of Forest Closure areas. Please refer to the link above for the closure areas to avoid. Please note that Sherman Pass road is closed to Blackrock .

Emergency Notification Alerts: Tulare County residents can sign up to receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.

Smoke Advisory: For information about smoke in areas surrounding the Windy Fire go to AirNow.

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