Cedar, Alta Sierra, Sequoia Natl. Forest

In Contained California Fires by YubaNet

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  • Incident Name: Cedar, Alta Sierra, Sequoia Natl. Forest
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: SQF
  • Size (acres): 29,322
  • Percent Contained: 98%
  • Estimate of Containment: September 24, 2016
  • Personnel: 148
  • Structures Destroyed: 6
Cedar, Sequoia NF. Five miles north of Alta Sierra, CA. Timber and chaparral. Minimal fire behavior. Road, area and trail closures in effect.

September 10, 2016 at 10:13 AM

This will be the final update unless significant fire changes occur

The Cedar Fire has transitioned to a Type 3 Team managed by Incident Commander Joe Gonzales of the Sequoia National Forest.

With the fire transition from suppression to repair efforts, a specialized Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team has come in to assess potential threats, property, and critical natural and cultural resources that resulted from the damage from the Cedar Fire. This team of highly trained specialists is comprised of USFS specialists working together particularly evaluating soils, invasive species, hydrology, archaeological sites, recreation, and roads.

For the duration of the fire, crews and air resources will continue to put out any remaining smokes along the fire perimeter and eliminate any hazards near the fireline, including those dead, fire affected, drought and bug-kill weakened trees. In addition, firefighters on the ground will be helping repair dozer line, hand line, and chipping dead vegetation. Some smoke may still be visible within the fire interior.

Weather:
Current weather conditions have cooled this week but remain dry. A high-pressure system over the fire area will ensure above normal temperatures along with mostly diurnal winds. This includes the typical gusty winds through the Kern River Canyon until Saturday with some relative humidity levels reaching a low near 10%. Early next week, an upper low will enter the area, and temperatures will cool as winds increase and RHs trend upward.

September 6, 2016 at 7:17 AM

Fire crews on the night shift completed their final assignment last night. They will transition to the day shift and join other crews who are working on rehab in the burn area. Very few smoke columns were visible yesterday with the exception of hot spots on the western flank, south of Panorama Heights. Fire personnel kept a careful watch over this area to ensure no spots occurred over the containment line. Patrols will continue to monitor the Kern River corridor looking for smoke or other signs of abandoned campfires following the high use holiday weekend.

Crew assignments today will continue to focus on removing hazards within the fire perimeter, chipping dead vegetation, and repairing dozer and hand lines. The number of fire personnel will continue to decline as resources are released from the incident. Forest system roads and administrative sites will be evaluated for hazard trees and treated to improve safety in those areas. Some smoke will be visible within the interior of the fire.

The Sequoia National Forest remains in Level 4 fire restrictions. Campfires and open flame are prohibited on the Forest and smoking is allowed only inside a vehicle. Land owners are reminded to be cautious when working outdoors with equipment, as a spark could start a new fire.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Weather in the area remains much the same today as yesterday. Winds should continue to decrease and temperatures increase as a slow warming and drying trend sets up for the week. Gusty winds will continue to occur in the Kern River Canyon.

September 5, 2016 at 9:11 AM

Windy conditions yesterday pushed the fire into unburned pockets of fuel in the interior of the burn area. Smoke plumes were visible from different lookout sites as the fire smoldered and crept into patches of dead and down material. Firefighters kept watch over containment lines to ensure no sparks ignited outside the lines. Night patrols continued last night in the Glennville community and along the Kern River corridor. As forest visitors return home after the holiday weekend, patrols will monitor for smoke or other signs of abandoned campfires.

Today, most of the work will continue to focus on scouting out areas for repair and removing hazard trees along National Forest system roads. Sandy Creek and Sugarloaf Roads, as well as administrative sites like popular camping areas, will be surveyed for dead trees or other hazards that could compromise public safety. Crews will also be cutting and chipping brush to improve containment lines. Firefighters will continue to patrol and mop-up any hot spots that appear along roads and fire lines.

The Sequoia National Forest remains in Level 4 fire restrictions. Campfires and open flame are prohibited on the Forest and smoking is allowed only inside a vehicle. Land owners are reminded to be cautious when working outdoors with equipment, as a spark could start a new fire.

September 4, 2016 at 10:43 AM

Fire crews working overnight reported very little smoke or heat along the fire’s perimeter. Engines patrolled the area around Glennville and along the Kern River corridor monitoring for signs of hot spots that could flare back up. The public is reminded that camp fires are prohibited on federal lands. The Sequoia National Forest is under Level 4 fire restrictions that prohibit the use of open flames or smoking outside of a vehicle. Dry and windy conditions are a concern as recreation visits continue to increase over the holiday weekend. Fire patrols will closely monitor for camp fires and remind people of fire restrictions.

Fire rehab will be the focus for crews today as they identify dozer and hand lines that need erosion control work. Firefighters will patrol and mop-up containment lines as needed. Interior pockets of unburned fuels as well as heavy dead and down fuels will continue to burn as the fire moves into those areas. Smoke may be visible in and around the fire area.

The Central Coast Incident Management Team will continue to downsize firefighting resources in response to suppression and rehab needs. Firefighters on the incident are prepared to respond to any new fire starts in the vicinity.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

A few areas will continue to smoke as the fire creeps into unburned pockets of fuel. Temperatures will be cooler today but winds will increase in the mountains, gusting to 45 mph. Humidity will increase slightly in the canyon and at higher elevations.

September 3, 2016 at 10:24 AM

The fire was quiet and did not spread overnight, although it is still creeping and smoldering within the perimeter. Firefighters are facing the hazard of fire-weakened and beetle-killed trees. Crews have now shifted to repairing impacts on the Sequoia National Forest from the recent fire-suppression activities. They are staying actively engaged and patrolling to ensure the fire does not escape the containment lines.
The California Central Coast Type 2 Interagency Incident Management Team took command of the fire Friday at 6:00 PM.

Smoke and Air Quality: Air quality conditions continue to improve as a result of very little smoke production from the Cedar Fire. In the Glennville, Posey and surrounding communities that sit in drainages below the western perimeter, conditions are expected to be in the moderate category. In Kernville and the Kern Valley and Lake Isabella communities, conditions are trending toward good as increased winds continue to push out residual smoke. In the Ridgecrest, Owens Valley, and San Joaquin Valley, little to no effects from Cedar Fire smoke are expected. This will be the final air quality report for the Cedar Fire.

September 2, 2016 at 9:14 AM

It was a night of vigilance for crews as they monitored the perimeter of the fire to ensure it stayed within containment lines. Residents of the mountain communities on the northwest section of the fire continued to return to their homes and cabins.

Friday’s priority is to seek out and cool down any hot spots near the edge of the fireline to ensure the fire remains within its containment lines. Repair of areas affected by fire-suppression activities is an increasing component of fire operations. Both efforts are complicated by the hazard posed by fire-weakened and beetle-killed trees.

California Interagency Incident Management Team 5, under the command of Mike Minton, and Kern County Fire Department, under the command of Bill Steers, would like to thank cooperators and community members for their support throughout the suppression efforts. This evening at 6:00, responsibility for the fire will be transferred to California Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team 7 under the command of Robert Laeng.

Safety:

Flames and smoke from isolated areas well within the fireline might be visible for several days, and visitors and residents should call 911 only if they see fire near containment lines. As traffic increases during the Labor Day holiday weekend, be mindful of firefighters, vehicles, and equipment still working on or near roads in the fire area. With hot, dry, windy conditions persisting and extremely dry vegetation, residents and visitors are asked to be extremely careful with any open flame or activities that could spark a new fire start.

September 2, 2016 at 8:32 AM

The fire did not spread overnight, although it is still creeping and smoldering within the perimeter. Firefighters are still facing the hazard of fire-weakened and beetle-killed trees. In many areas of the fire, crews have now shifted to repair mode and are restoring the Sequoia National Forest to pre-fire-suppression conditions. They will also stay actively engaged to ensure the fire does not escape the containment lines .
A type 2 team California Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team will take command of the fire today at 6:00 PM.

Smoke and Air Quality: Air quality conditions continue to improve as a result of very little smoke production from the Cedar Fire. In the Glennville, Posey and surrounding communities that sit in drainages below the western perimeter, conditions are expected to be in the moderate category. In Kernville and the Kern Valley and Lake Isabella communities, conditions are trending toward good as increased winds continue to push out residual smoke. In the Ridgecrest, Owens Valley, and San Joaquin Valley, little to no effects from Cedar Fire smoke are expected.

September 1, 2016 at 8:22 AM

Crews monitored and held containment lines around the fire’s perimeter last night. They interacted and shared information with residents returning to the mountain communities along the northwest section of the fire where evacuation status was downgraded to voluntary yesterday.

Continued hot, dry, and windy conditions require firefighters to remain vigilant. This combination of weather conditions means isolated areas of flame and smoke will be visible well inside the fireline for several days. Visitors and residents are asked to call 911 only if they see fire near containment lines.

Crews will seek and cool down hot spots today to ensure that the fire does not challenge containment lines. Firefighters will also be clearing hazards from Sandy Creek Road, preparing it to be reopened in the future.

Traffic is expected to increase on area roads and highways this Labor Day holiday weekend. Residents and visitors are asked to remain vigilant for firefighting equipment traveling on winding mountain roads.

Starting today, a once-daily update will be released in the morning, and InciWeb will be updated throughout the day as needed.

A type 2 incident management team—California Central Coast Interagency Incident Management Team—will transition with the current team and assume command of the fire tomorrow evening.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Today’s forecast calls for slightly cooler and less windy conditions. However, temperatures are still expected to reach the mid-90s at lower elevations, and winds could gust to 30 mph this afternoon on ridgetops and in the Kern River Valley. The relative humidity could drop as low at 12 percent in some areas of the fire.

National Forest Upper Kern River Campgrounds:

Sequoia National Forest designated and dispersed campgrounds along the Upper Kern River (Mountain 99) have reopeneded to overnight camping. People with reservations through the National Recreation Reservation Service should call California Land Management at 760-376-1815.

A visitor information booth, located at Mt. 99 and Riverkern, will be open Friday–Sunday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Kernville Ranger Station will be open Saturday, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. but closed Sunday and Monday Starting Tuesday, the office will return to winter hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

National Forest Closures:

A Sequoia National Forest area closure is in effect (Order No. 0513-16-18). The official closure order and map are posted at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4964.

Tulare County Evacuations and Road Status:

Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. A voluntary evacuation means that residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so should conditions worsen. Voluntary evacuations require proof of residency to enter. A mandatory evacuation means that residents should evacuate.

Yesterday, the Tulare County Fire Department, Sheriff, and Emergency Operations Center downgraded the mandatory evacuation order to voluntary for the following communities: Poso Park, Panorama Heights, Balance Rock, McClenney Tract, Sugar Loaf Sawmill, Sugar Loaf Mountain Park, Sugar Loaf Village, and White River Summer Homes. Voluntary evacuations remain in effect for: Posey, Idlewild, Manter Meadow, Pine Mountain Ranch Homes and Rainbow Ranch. Residents under voluntary evacuation must show proof of residency prior to entering evacuated areas.

Portuguese Meadow and Spear Creek Summer Homes, where five cabins and several outbuildings were damaged by the fire, remain under mandatory evacuation.

Current road closures remain in place; however residents are now permitted to enter evacuated areas:

  • Mountain 3 (M-3) “White River Rd.” is now partially open at Jack Ranch Road east into the evacuated areas around Posey and Idlewild, for residents of Posey and Idlewild only.
  • Pine Flat Road is closed at Manter Meadow Road for southbound travel into the evacuated areas around Sugarloaf and Posey. Manter Meadow Road is now partially open, for residents only.

Dumpster locations for disposing of spoiled food, trash, or debris are at the Posey fire station and post office. The American Red Cross is also located at the Posey fire station. County health officials advise residents returning to communities affected by the fire to be cautious when returning to their homes. For a full list of health precautions visit www.tularecounty.ca.gov/ emergencies.

For further information, please contact the Tulare County Emergency Operations Center at (559) 623-0200 between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Kern County Evacuations and Road Status:

The precautionary evacuations for the following areas were lifted yesterday:

  • On the east side of the Kern River: all residences and businesses from Camp Erwin Owen north to the Kern-Tulare County line, including the Riverkern community
  • On the west side of the Kern River: all residences north of the intersection of Diablo Road and Burlando Road north to the Kern-Tulare County line.

No precautionary or recommended evacuations remain in Kern County.

August 31, 2016 at 11:06 PM

The fire—tested today with low humidity, high temperatures, and strong, gusty winds—remained within established containment lines. It was active primarily in three areas: Baker Ridge, Panorama Heights, and Cane Creek.  Firefighters reported open flame inside the perimeter of the fireline near Baker Ridge, which is located on the northeast side of the fire and near Cane Creek on the southeast.

Some firefighters remain on night shift. Because the drought-stressed, fire-weakened trees pose a sigificant threat which limits firefighter access on the fireline at night. Instead they will monitor and patrol the perimeter, ensuring that the fire does not escape containment lines.

Please drive with caution on Highway 155 and other roads recently opened to public travel. Drivers are encouraged to watch out for fire equipment and personnel on the road.

This will be the last evening update produced for the Cedar Fire. Starting tomorrow, a once-daily update will be released in the morning

August 31, 2016 at 9:58 AM

This notification is from Tulare County Fire Department, Tulare County Sheriff, and Tulare County Emergency Operations Center.

Effective 10:00am on August 31, officials will downgrade the mandatory evacuation order to voluntary for the following communities: Poso Park, Panorama Heights, Balance Rock, McClenney Tract, Sugar Loaf Sawmill, Sugar Loaf Mountain Park, Sugar Loaf Village, and White River Summer Homes.

Spear Creek Summer Homes, where five cabins and several outbuilding were damaged by the fire, and Portuguese Meadow will remain under mandatory evacuation.

Residents under voluntary evacuation may choose to return to their properties at this time. Residents must show proof of residency to posted law enforcement prior to entering evacuated areas.

Conditions may change in the next 36 hours for communities downgraded, causing officials to re-issue mandatory status. Returning residents should show caution, personal safety and be aware of possible debris and smoke inhalation.

Voluntary evacuations remain in effect for: Posey, Idlewild, Manter Meadow, Pine Mountain Ranch Homes and Rainbow Ranch.

Current road closures remain in place, however residents are now permitted to enter evacuated areas.

Dumpster locations will be available for residents to dispose of any spoiled food, trash or debris at Posey Fire Station and the Posey Post Office. Repopulation efforts are underway with assistance from the American Red Cross located at the Posey Fire Station.

County health officials advise residents returning to communities impacted by the wildfires to take caution upon returning to their homes. For a full list of health precautions visit www.tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies.

For further information, please contact the Tulare County Emergency Operations Center at (559) 623-0200 between the hours of 8am-5pm.

August 31, 2016 at 8:24 AM

Firefighters had a good shift last night. They connected and mopped up containment lines in the Poso area.

Hotshot crews extinguished hot spots from Bakers Point south to Bull Run Basin. With this achievement, they now have only one area in the Bull Run Basin that does not have control lines around it.

Firefighters will patrol and monitor the firelines today as high winds are expected to test containment lines.

August 30, 2016 at 8:46 PM

A firing operation in the Bear Dens area brought firefighters close to completing a containment line along the northwest section of the fire. The coordinated efforts of infrared scanning, water drops from the air, and the hard work of  hotshot crews on the ground has resulted in an increase in the containment line north from Split Mountain. Winds in the late afternoon caused unburned pockets of vegetation on Black Mountain to put up some smoke; but this interior activity above Wofford Heights poses no threat to the containment line.

With Highway 155 open to public travel, fire managers are encouraging drivers to watch out for fire equipment on the road. Night shift will continue to patrol certain parts of the fire, as well as complete and hold containment work begun in the daylight hours.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Little change in the weather is expected overnight, with some gusty ridgetop and river valley winds predicted to die down after midnight. By dawn, temperatures are forecast to drop into the 50s and 60s, with relative humidity recovery ranging from 32-42 percent. Stronger winds are expected during the day Wednesday.

August 30, 2016 at 9:04 AM

Overnight, firefighters monitored containment lines to ensure that the fire’s perimeter was not challenged. Today, crews will focus on the Bear Den area, where unburned vegetation remains between the fire and dozer lines. They’ll conduct firing operations to remove that vegetation before the forecasted change in wind arrives, which will test containment lines.

Mop up and improvement of the perimeter around all the mountain communities along the northwest side of the fire continues. Hazardous-tree removal needs to be completed before the area can be safely repopulated. Fire activity along the eastern side has moderated, but heavily timbered areas continue to smolder and retain heat. Hotshot crews are using infrared technology to locate scattered pockets of heat, which they will extinguish with assistance from water-dropping aircraft. With the arrival of anticipated strong, gusty winds, fire managers will continue to monitor the eastern side of the fire. Chipping operations along Highway 155 are complete and the road is open to all traffic. Drivers are asked to be alert for fire equipment on the road. At each corner and switchback, anticipate the possibility of encountering large, slow-moving firefighting equipment.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Today’s temperature and relative humidity will change little from yesterdays as high pressure gives way to a low-pressure trough moving into the area. Winds will be stronger Wednesday and Thursday on ridgetops and through Kern River Canyon, with gusts to around 30 mph possible.

August 29, 2016 at 9:01 PM

Assisted by favorable winds, crews made excellent progress today on the west and north sides of the fire. Firefighters are currently conducting firing operations south of Poso. The 400-acre parcel is the final piece they need to burn to achieve a continuously connected containment line on on the that side of the fire. Night crews are tasked with completing and then monitoring the firing operation. Elsewhere around the perimeter, crews will monitor the fire for hot spots and hold on to the progress day-shift crews achieved.

With evacuations and road closures being lifted, the public should drive carefully as firefighters and equipment will still have a significant presence on the roads surrounding the fire area.

August 29, 2016 at 11:36 AM

Officials Downgrade Evacuation Orders for Areas Affected by the Cedar Fire

This notification is from Tulare County Fire Department, Tulare County Sheriff, and Tulare County Emergency Operations Center.

Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. A voluntary evacuation means that residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so should conditions worsen. Voluntary evacuations require proof of residency to enter. A mandatory evacuation means that residents should evacuate.

Effective at 10:00am on August 29, officials have downgraded the mandatory evacuation order to voluntary for the following communities: Posey, Idlewild, Manter Meadow, Pine Mountain Ranch Homes, and Rainbow Ranch.

The neighboring communities of Poso Park, Panorama Heights, Balance Rock, McClenney Tract, Sugar Loaf Sawmill, Sugar Loaf Mountain Park, White River Summer Homes, and Spear Creek Summer Homes are still under mandatory evacuation orders.

Residents previously under mandatory evacuation due to the Cedar Fire may choose to return to their properties at this time. Residents must show proof of residency to posted law enforcement prior to entering evacuated areas.

Conditions may change in the next 36 hours for communities downgraded, causing officials to re-issue mandatory status. Returning residents should show caution, personal safety and be aware of possible debris and smoke inhalation.

Changes have been made to road closures. Current road closures include: Mountain 3 (M-3) is now closed where it becomes Sugarloaf Drive at Peel Mill Creek Road east into the Balance Rock, Sugarloaf and Panorama Heights areas. Mountain 3 (M-3) “White River Rd” is now partially open at Jack Ranch Road east into the evacuated areas around Posey and Idlewild, for residents of Posey and Idlewild only.

Mountain 112 (M-112) “Deer Creek Rd” is now open at Road 296 into the previously evacuated areas around California Hot Springs. Mountain 56 (M-56) “Hot Springs Rd” is now open at

Mountain 109 (M-109) “Old Stage Rd” near Fountain Springs into the previously evacuated areas around California Hot Springs.

Pine Flat Road is closed at Manter Meadow Road for southbound travel into the evacuated areas around Sugarloaf and Posey.  Manter Meadow Road is now partially open, for residents only.

Dumpster locations will be available for residents to dispose of any trash or debris at Posey Fire Station and the Posey Post Office. Re-population efforts are underway with assistance from the American Red Cross located at the Posey Fire Station.

For further information, please contact the Tulare County Emergency Operations Center at (559) 623-0200 between the hours of 8am-5pm.

August 29, 2016 at 8:13 AM

There was very little perimeter growth yesterday on the Cedar Fire. The less-than-two-hundred-acre increase is primarily due to firing operations crews conducted on the west side in the mountain communities near Panorama Heights. Hotshot crews camping near the fireline haven’t detected significant pockets of heat along the northeastern perimeter but are extinguishing them as they make forward progress.

August 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Fire personnel managing the Cedar fire have accepted management responsibility of the Havila Fire south of Lake Isabella, which started yesterday afternoon. Ground crews, equipment, and aircraft from the Cedar Fire will participate in suppression and containment operations. Information about the Havila Fire will be included in the Cedar Fire’s daily updates and InciWeb pages.

Night crews monitored the Cedar Fire and observed minimal fire activity. Crews working overnight on the Havila Fire laid hose around most of the perimeter and mopped up containment lines. The Havila is burning mostly in shrubs with some grass, shrub and gray pine components.

One operational priority for the Cedar Fire is to protect property and infrastructure on the west side in mountain communities surrounding Panorama Heights and Sugarloaf. The other priority is the northeast side, where hotshot crews will work to suppress the fire in the Bull Run Basin. The operational priority for the Havila Fire is to protect nearby communities and property while suppressing the fire.

It was a very cool night on the fireline, and fire activity was minimal. Crews reported good progress on containment-line construction and continued success in protection of the mountain communities along the northwest perimeter. Firefighters monitoring the Stormy Canyon drainage observed fire activity diminish overnight.

Today, hotshot crews are being inserted by helicopter on the east side of the fire between Split Mountain and Baker Point where they will set the stage for establishing containment lines. On the south side, firefighters are chipping trees and brush slash to clear Highway 155 from Wofford Heights to the Greenhorn Summit; expect traffic delays. Crews will continue firing operations on the west side around the Kern/Tulare County line to bring the fire onto the flats where containment will be safer, easier, and more efficient. On the northwest side, firefighters are using engines and bulldozers to construct direct line. Helicopters will be available to drop water in the Cane Creek drainage on Black Mountain to cool a stubborn area in the fire’s interior.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Warmer, drier, and windier conditions are forecasted for today. Afternoon temperatures are expected to reach into the mid-90s at lower elevations. The relative humidity could drop as low as 10 percent. Winds will follow the terrain. On the ridgetops, firefighters could experience afternoon gusts up to 18 mph, with afternoon winds in the Kern River Valley gusting up to 25 mph. Fire managers are planning for the possible effects of sustained strong winds expected Tuesday and Wednesday.

August 27, 2016 at 8:31 PM

On the southeast side, today’s firing operation on Black Mountain allowed firefighters to bring the fire down to control and retardant lines. Similar efforts on the southwest corner of the fire, along Sandy Creek Road, brought that section of perimeter closer to containment. Sugarloaf and Panorama Heights are nearly surrounded by control lines. To the north, crews used a network of roads to access the fire with engines and construct construct dozer line directly along the fire’s edge. On the east side, the fire is backing down from Baker Ridge into Stormy Canyon and hotshot crews started working in the Bull Run Basin. However, most of the eastern perimeter is not generating much heat or smoke.
The night air-attack aircraft and two night-flying helicopters that have benefited the firefighting efforts the past few nights have been reassigned to the new fire start south of Lake Isabella. Night-shift crews were advised to be flexible in case they need to be reassigned to assist with the Havilah Fire. Absent redirection, the plan is to assess and monitor the success of the daytime firing operations and control the fire perimeter.
Weather and Fire Behavior:
Another warm, dry night is expected across the fire, with overnight lows mainly in the mid 50s to mid 60s, and humidity recovery ranging from 35-40 percent by morning. Gusty winds will die down and an inversion is expected to develop after midnight, moderating fire activity.

August 27, 2016 at 11:16 AM

Dry weather led to active burning in the southwest and western sides of the fire. Overnight, crews laid more hose though those areas to better control the fire’s advance. They also were very busy successfully holding yesterday’s firing operations and responding to spot fires. The fire was also active yesterday near Tobias Peak, and fire managers repositioned crews from other parts of the fire to work through the night to keep the fire from advancing. The fire continued to move eastward into the old Bull Fire scar and the Stormy Creek Canyon. Safe access is difficult in this very steep area, so operations personnel are developing a plan to bring the fire to an area better suited for containment. Night-flying helicopters dropped water on an active spot fire in the rugged terrain of Black Mountain, moderating the fire’s activity until crews can move into the area today.

Priorities today include improving containment lines along Highway 155 and north along Sandy Creek Road on the west side of the fire. Crews remain in Panorama Heights and Sugarloaf, defending residences in these and other nearby mountain communities.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

The relative humidity recovery was poor last night, and the dry vegetation remains very succeptible to spotting. Despite an increase in fire behavior, however, the perimeter is not increasing significantly. Warm, dry weather will continue today and persist into next week. Easterly winds through the morning will transition to westerly in the early afternoon with moderate gusts into the evening. Areas of smoke will still be prevalent around much of the fire, and active fire will be visible from many surrounding communities.

Kern County Evacuations:

Kern County has two levels of evacuations: precautionary and recommended. A precautionary evacuation means that the fire may become a threat in the near future. All residents are advised to be prepared to leave the area at a moment’s notice. A recommended evacuation means that the fire is an imminent threat and people are strongly advised to leave and seek shelter away from the fire area. This may be the last notice people receive.

Yesterday, the following areas were downgraded from recommended to precautionary evacuation:

· Pala Ranches

· Homestead Tract

· Residences north of Anchorage Road, including Earl Pascoe Road

· Alta Sierra, with the exception of Forest Service recreation cabins at Summit Road, Weeping

Springs, and Slick Rock.

The following areas remain in precautionary evacuation: In Kernville, on the west side of the Kern River, residences from Diablo Road north to the Kern-Tulare County line. On the east side of the Kern River, residences from Camp Erwin Owen north to the Kern-Tulare County line, including the Riverkern community. In Wofford Heights, the area east of Highway 155 and north of Wofford Boulevard.

Kern County Road Closures:

Soft closure (only residents with photo ID): Highway 155 at Calgary Drive; Old State Road at Mt.

Shadow Drive

Hard closure: between Highway 155 at Rancheria Road and Highway 155 at Lakeside Drive

Tulare County Evacuations:

Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. A voluntary evacuation means that residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so should conditions worsen. A mandatory evacuation means that residents should evacuate.

Yesterday, officials downgraded the evacuation order from mandatory to voluntary for the communities of California Hot Springs and Pine Flat. The Johnsondale area, including Johnsondale south to Chamise Flat Campground, remains under a voluntary evacuation. Voluntary evacuations require proof of residency to enter.

The following areas are under a mandatory evacuation: Posey; Pine Mountain; Sugarloaf, including Sugarloaf Mountain Park and Sugarloaf Village; Panorama Heights; McClenny Tract; Spear Creek Mountain Homes; White River Summer Homes; Pine Mountain Ranch Homes; Rainbow Ranch Homes; Portuguese Meadow; Balance Rock; Idlewild; and Poso Park.

Tulare County Road Closures:

· M-50 “Parker Pass Rd.” at M-107 “Western Divide Hwy.” a.k.a. “Mountain Hwy. 90” is partially closed.

· Pine Flat Road is closed at Mentor Meadow Road in Pine Flat.

· There is a “soft closure” of M-56 “Hot Springs Rd.” at M-109 “Old Stage Rd.” near Fountain

Springs (residents must show identification to enter the area).

· M-3 “White River Rd.” is closed at Jack Ranch Road east into the evacuated areas around Posey and Panorama Heights.

· M-112 “Deer Creek Rd.” is closed at Rd. 296.

For more information, call the Tulare County Emergency Operations Center: 559-623-0200, option 6 for the public information officer. Continuous ringing indicates a busy line, and there is no voicemail.

National Forest Closures:

The Sequoia National Forest has issued area, road and trail closures for the area affected by the Cedar Fire (Order No. 0513-16-18). General boundaries of the closure: south of Highway 50, west of Highway 99, north of Sawmill Road, and east of the western Forest boundary. Forest Road 90 will remain closed. The official closure and a map are posted at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4964.

Partial Campground Closures:

Campgrounds along Mountain 99 north of Kernville in the upper Kern River corridor are closed temporarily to overnight camping. The road remains open, and day use of the area—from sunrise to sunset—is allowed. People with reservations through the campground reservation systems should go to reserveusa.com or call (877) 444-6777.

Shelters:

· First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella (3701 Suhre Street)

· Granite Hills High School (1701 E. Putnam Avenue, Porterville)

Kern County Animal Services will assist with sheltering companion animals at the First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella. To shelter large animals or livestock, contact Terry Way’s Ranch and Equine Rescue: 918- 541-3572, 416 N. Anderson Way, Exeter.

If you have physical limitations and require evacuation assistance, call the Aging and Adult Services

hotline: 855-264-6565.

August 26, 2016 at 9:58 AM

Fire crews were very busy overnight in the Panorama Heights and Sugarloaf areas. The firing operation

continued through the night to protect homes in the area. Two night-flying capable helicopters that dropped

buckets of water to manage the fire’s movement on their terms supported crews on the ground.

Containment lines were improved on the northern end of the fire around Tobias and Baker Peaks, building on

yesterday’s successful firing operations. Efforts to expand containment lines north of Highway 155 has resulted

in a perimeter that fire managers are confident in. Despite fire activity through the night, containment lines

were not compromised. Flames on the slopes of Black Mountain are a visible indicator of the fire cleaning up

unburned pockets of vegetation within the perimeter.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Little change in temperature and relative humidity is forecast for today as a large dry air mass remains over the

region. Light southeast ridge winds in the morning are expected to shift to the southwest and then west during

mid to late afternoon. Terrain-driven winds will prevail with gusty conditions in the Kern River Canyon. These

conditions will last through the weekend, trending a little warmer and drier into early next week.

Kern County Evacuations and Closures:

Kern County has two types of evacuations: precautionary and recommended. A precautionary evacuation

means that the fire may become a threat in the near future. All residents are advised to be prepared to leave

the area at a moment’s notice. A recommended evacuation means that the fire is an imminent threat and

people are strongly advised to leave and seek shelter away from the fire area. This may be the last notice

people receive.

NEW CHANGE: Effective at 11 a.m. the following areas have been lowered from recommended to

precautionary evacuation:

  • Pala Ranches
  • Homestead Tract
  • Residences north of Anchorage Road, including Earl Pascoe Road
  • Alta Sierra – with the exception of the Forest Service Recreation Cabins at Summit Road, Weeping

Springs and Slick Rock.

The following areas remain in precautionary evacuation: In Kernville, on the west side of the Kern River,

residences from Diablo Road north to the Kern-Tulare County line. On the east side of the Kern River,

residences from Camp Erwin Owen north to the Kern-Tulare County line, including the Riverkern community. In

Wofford Heights, the area east of Highway 155 and north of Wofford Boulevard.

Updated road closures in Kern County:

SOFT CLOSURE: Soft closures allow access to residents only (no thru traffic).

KERN COUNTY SOFT CLOSURES: Highway 155 at Calgary Drive, Old State Road at Mt. Shadow Drive

KERN COUNTY HARD ROAD CLOSURES: Between Highway 155 at Rancheria Road and Highway 155 at

Lakeside Drive

Tulare County Evacuations and Closures:

Tulare County has two types of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. A voluntary evacuation means that

residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so should conditions worsen. A mandatory evacuation

means that residents should evacuate.

The following is under a voluntary evacuation: the Johnsondale area, including Johnsondale south to Chamise

Flat Campground.

The following are under a mandatory evacuation: Posey; Pine Flat; Pine Mountain; Sugarloaf, including

Sugarloaf Mountain Park and Sugarloaf Village; California Hot Springs; Panorama Heights; McClenny Tract;

Spear Creek Mountain Homes; White River Summer Homes; Portuguese Meadow; Balance Rock; Idlewild; and

Poso Park.

Tulare County road update: M-50 “Parker Pass Rd.” is now OPEN in both directions between Johnsondale and M-

107 “Western Divide Hwy.”

Current Tulare County road closures:

  • M-56 “Hot Springs Rd.” is closed at M-109 “Old Stage Rd.” near Fountain Springs into the evacuated

areas around California Hot Springs.

  • M-3 “White River Rd.” is closed at Jack Ranch Road east into the evacuated areas around Posey and

Panorama Heights.

  • M-50 “Parker Pass Rd.” is closed at M-107 “Western Divide Hwy.” aka “Mountain Hwy. 90” prohibiting

westbound travel into the evacuated areas around California Hot Springs.

  • M-112 “Deer Creek Rd.” is closed at Rd 296 into the evacuated areas around California Hot Springs.

For more information, call the Tulare County Emergency Operations Center: 559-623-0200, option 6 for the

public information officer. Continuous ringing indicates a busy line, and there is no voicemail.

National Forest Closures:

The Sequoia National Forest has issued area, road and trail closures for the area affected by the Cedar Fire

(Order No. 0513-16-18). General boundaries of the closure: south of Highway 50, west of Highway 99, north of

Sawmill Road, and east of the western Forest boundary. The official closure and a map are posted at

inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4964.

Partial Campground Closures:

Because of the fire, campgrounds along Mountain 99 north of Kernville in the upper Kern River corridor are

closed temporarily to overnight camping. The road remains open, and day use of the area—from sunrise to

sunset—is still allowed. People with reservations through the campground reservation systems should go to

reserveusa.com or call (877) 444-6777.

Shelters:

  • South Fork Elementary School (6401 Fay Ranch Road, Weldon)
  • First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella (3701 Suhre Street)
  • Granite Hills High School (1701 E. Putnam Avenue, Porterville)

Kern County Animal Services will assist with sheltering companion animals at the First Baptist Church of Lake

Isabella. To shelter large animals or livestock, contact Terry Way’s Ranch and Equine Rescue: 918-541-3572,

416 N. Anderson Way, Exeter.

If you have physical limitations and require evacuation assistance, call the Aging and Adult Services hotline:

855-264-6565.

August 26, 2016 at 7:27 AM

The fire stayed active until approximately midnight, when the smoke settled in and moderated fire behavior for the remains of the night.

On the west side of the fire in Panorama Heights and Sugarloaf, firefighters are conducting firing operations right now around houses to protect them from the main fire front. Crews on the night shift will transition with the day shift and continue that structure-protection work.

The perimeter-control priority for firefighters overnight was containing the new Chico Fire in the Kern River Valley. Two night-flying helicopters were available for water drops as needed by crews on the ground.

August 24, 2016 at 9:51 PM

Campgrounds along the Upper Kern River will temporarily close tomorrow morning, August 25th, due to existing and potential impacts of the Cedar Fire, until further notice.

The top priority in suppressing wildland fires is to provide for firefighter and public safety.  With that said, the Upper Kern river camping corridor has been experiencing some ember activity, falling ash and heavy smoke, which has been causing low visability.

In order to keep residents and visitors safe, the campgrounds along the Upper Kern river corridor, along Mountain 99, north of Kernville, will close temporarily.  However, the road remains open, and day-use will still be allowed.

Day use will be from sunrise to dusk.  We are asking your cooperation in this matter to keep this corridor safe not only for yourselves but for any unforeseen immediate suppression action by ground and air firefighting resources.

Campers will be redirected to other areas in and around the Sequoia National forest, for their camping enjoyment.

For those with reservations through the National Recreation Reservation Service, California Land Management, please call (760) 376-1815.

For information on the fire activity, please call the Kernville Ranger Station at (760) 376-3781,  8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., 7 days a week.

August 24, 2016 at 8:42 PM

Firefighters successfully improved containment lines along many sections of the fire perimeter on Wednesday.  A firing operation along the north side of the fire produced a large smoke column and was described as a “textbook” operation by fire managers. Aerial ignition was utilized to remove unburned fuels and secure a good line along the southern portion of the fire, part of an effort to increase containment along Highway 155.  Hand and dozer was completed along Tobias Peak, with aerial ignition of that area planned for the next day or two. Continued progress was reported on Black Mountain with the use of aircraft and helicopters.  The recent hard work in Panorama Heights paid off today as fire stayed clear of structures in the area. While good containment lines have been expanded along the northeast portion of the fire, a portion of the fire has moved off of Baker Ridge into the upper reaches of Stormy Canyon drainage.

The goal for Wednesday evening remains perimeter control and completing and improving containment. Protection of structures around Panaroma Heights and Sugarloaf is the evening’s highest priority. A night air attack aircraft and two night-flying helicopters are available to support firefighters, but windy conditions and areas of thick smoke may limit their use.

Earlier Wednesday, Tulare County Emergency Operations Center confirmed that six cabins in Spear Creek were destroyed.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

The area is under the influence of a very dry air mass. Relative humidity in some areas may not climb above 30-percent overnight, allowing for active burning well into the evening. Gusty winds along ridgetops and in the Kern River Valley are expected to continue through the evening before diminishing after midnight. Overnight low temperatures will range from the 60s at lower elevations to the 40s in the higher mountains.

August 24, 2016 at 1:11 PM

Smoke from the Cedar Fire west of Kernville area is impacting communities in the Kern River Valley and Ridgecrest area. The entire Kern River Valley has been affected and severe effects have been noted in Ridgecrest, and hazy conditions are being experienced in the Tehachapi area. Therefore, all communities in the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District (District) jurisdiction (including: Lake Isabella, Ridgecrest, Boron, Rosamond, Mojave, and Tehachapi) are included in this notification.

The District is recommending that children, older individuals, and those with pre-existing heart and lung problems should avoid outdoor activity, whenever they can smell or see smoke in their immediate area. Effects can be as mild as a headache; eye, nose or throat irritation; or as serious as triggered asthma episodes or stresses on weakened cardiovascular systems. Adverse health impacts may also be seen in normally healthy individuals, if they are engaged in strenuous outdoor activities during periods of exposure to ground-level smoke.

Sensitive individuals should stay indoors in an air conditioned building with windows and doors closed whenever there is smoke at ground level in their area. Most residential central air conditioning systems re-circulate the air inside the home, so these can be operated normally; however, many commercial buildings and a small percentage of newer homes have mechanical ventilation systems that actively bring in outdoor air, and these should be set to a “re-circulate” mode, if available. If you are using a window air conditioner it should also be set to the “re-circulate” mode. Water or swamp coolers remove only a small portion of the smoke particles from the air that they bring in and provide little protection from the smoke. The District is recommending not use a swamp cooler that if there is smoke present in your area. Whole house fans should not be used until the threat of smoke impacts in your area is gone.

August 24, 2016 at 8:31 AM

Observed Fire Behavior: Moderate, single tree torching. Moderated surface fire behavior with occasional single tree and group tree torching. Continued smoldering in the heavy fuels.

Projected activity: Under increasing temperatures and diminishing relative humidity, expect active fire behavior in all fuel classes. Perimeter growth is expected on all sides of the fire.
24 hours: Poor night time relative humidity will prolong the burning period into the evening. Expect perimeter growth on all flanks.

August 23, 2016 at 9:32 PM

Fire activity was moderate for most of the day, increasing only in late afternoon. Firefighters took advantage of the slower fire activity and made good progress across much of the fire. The north side of the fire near Speark Creek was most active, generating abundant smoke that was visible from and affecting nearby communities. No structures were damaged today. There was also significant fire activity again on Black Mountain down to the ridge above Cane Creek. Crews reported making good progress on containment-line construction, including the area west of Baker Peak.

Tonight, the highest priority for placement of personnel and equipment is the west side in Panorama Heights and other nearby communities, which are most imminently threatened by the fire. Crews will also be patrolling and working on the south and southeast sides near Alta Vista and Wofford Heights. An airplane that can spot areas of concentrated heat will be on duty, and two night-flight helicopters will be available if firefighters on the ground need their assistance. As always, the goal is to hold and maintain the work that the day shift accomplished.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Clear skies are forecast Tuesday night, with temperatures expected to drop into the 50s across much of the fire area. Relative humidity is forecast to recover to about 40 percent overnight. Firefighters will see downslope and valley winds gusting to 12 m.p.h. in many areas and up to 25 m.p.h. in the Kern River Canyon.

Smoke will be an issue for firefighters overnight, limiting their visibility and their ability to construct and hold fireline. Active burning can be expected until midnight in all areas and all night long where heavy vegetation exists. The fire has been growing by about 1,000 acres each night. Hot, dry conditions are expected for several days, with longer burn periods and increased fire activity expected.

National Forest Closures:

The Sequoia National Forest has issued area, road and trail closures for the area affected by the Cedar Fire (Order No. 0513-16-18). General boundaries of the closure: south of Highway 50, west of Highway 99, north of Sawmill Road, and east of the western Forest boundary. The official closure and a map are posted at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4964.

Kern County Evacuations and Closures:

The following areas remain under a recommended evacuation order. This is because the fire is an imminent threat and people are strongly advised to leave and seek shelter away from the fire area.

  • Pala Ranches
  • Homestead Tract
  • Residences north of Anchorage Road, including Earl Pascoe Road
  • Alta Sierra
  • Slick Rock
  • Shirley Meadows

The area north of Highway 155 and west of Wofford Boulevard is under a precautionary evacuation order, which means that the fire may become a threat in the near future. All residents are advised to be prepared to leave the area at a moment’s notice. No other parts of Wofford Heights, apart from those listed, are under any evacuation order.

The following roads are closed in Kern County:

  • Highway 155 between Lakeside Drive and Miller Road.
  • Miller Road and Lakeside Drive.
  • Forest Highway 90 from Highway 155 to Portuguese Pass.
  • Old State Road in Wofford Heights at its junction with Mountain Shadow Road.

Tulare County Evacuations and Closures:

The following communities in Tulare County are under a mandatory evacuation order:

  • Posey
  • Pine Flat
  • Pine Mountain
  • Sugarloaf, including Sugarloaf Mountain Park and Sugarloaf Village
  • California Hot Springs
  • Panorama Heights
  • McClenny Tract
  • Spear Creek Mountain Homes
  • White River Summer Homes
  • Portuguese Meadow
  • Balance Rock
  • Idlewild
  • Poso Park

Tulare County has established the following road closures in response to the Cedar Fire:

  • M-56 “Hot Springs Rd.” is closed at M-109 “Old Stage Rd.” near Fountain Springs into the evacuated areas around California Hot Springs.
  • M-3 “White River Rd.” is closed at Jack Ranch Road east into the evacuated areas around Posey and Panorama Heights.
  • M-50 “Parker Pass Rd.” is closed at Johnsondale for westbound traffic.
  • M-50 “Parker Pass Rd.” is closed at M-107 “Western Divide Hwy. aka Mountain Hwy. 90” into the evacuated areas around California Hot Springs.
  • M-112 “Deer Creek Rd.” is closed at Rd 296 into the evacuated areas around California Hot Springs.
  • State Route 190 is open only by CHP escort between Coffee Camp and Wishon Dr. (east of Springville) due to the Tule Fire. Expect delays.

For more information, call the Tulare County Emergency Operations Center: 559-623-0200, option 6 for the public information officer. Continuous ringing indicates a busy line, and there is no voicemail.

Shelters:

  • South Fork Elementary School (6401 Fay Ranch Road, Weldon).
  • First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella (3701 Suhre Street).
  • Granite Hills High School (1701 E. Putnam Avenue, Porterville).

Kern County Animal Services will assist with sheltering companion animals at the First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella. To shelter large animals or livestock, contact Terry Way’s Ranch and Equine Rescue: 918-541-3572, 416 N. Anderson Way, Exeter.

If you have physical limitations and require evacuation assistance, call the Aging and Adult Services hotline: 855-264-6565.

August 23, 2016 at 9:33 AM

Overnight, firefighters built upon the successful work started by crews Monday afternoon by keeping the fire from spreading toward Wofford Heights. Today, firefighters will again focus on holding the fire at Highway 155 and keeping it away from the Southern California Edison 66kv transmission lines.

Firefighters extinguished spot fires in and around structures in Panorama Heights. Defense of the seasonal cabins and residences in the area remains a priority. Firefighters assigned to the Cedar Fire, along with local agency personnel, responded to and are managing the lightning caused fires that started on Monday.

Improvement of containment lines on the east side of the fire will continue today as firefighters look for opportunities to establish ideal places to hold the fire should it advance in that direction.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Today’s return to dryer conditions and warmer temperatures will lead to an increase in fire behavior and potential for growth. Fire behavior is exacerbated by tree mortality from long-term drought and bark beetles. Heavy timber and dead trees hold a lot of heat and are challenging firefighting efforts.

Areas of smoke will remain in the fire area through the morning. Today will be mostly sunny with only a slight chance of an afternoon thunderstorm in the northern area of the fire. Breezy conditions and the topography of the fire area are significant factors contributing to fire growth.

August 23, 2016 at 7:32 AM

Gusts from afternoon storm pushed the fire toward Wofford Heights and Panorama Heights yesterday. Firefighters, with the support of aircraft, picked a favorable location to catch it as it advanced toward those areas.

Three new lightning starts were reported northwest of the Cedar Fire. Resources assigned to the fire are assisting local agencies in containing the new fires.

Additional firefighters and equipment have arrived along with night-flight helicopters, they will work through the night, focusing on defending the communities on the northwest and southeast portions of the fire.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Across the fire area thunderstorms with gusty winds are possible through the evening but are anticipated to calm down after midnight. While the chance of wetting rain is unlikely, downcanyon winds will be 7-12 with gusts around 20 in and along the Kern River

August 22, 2016 at 7:13 AM

The fire was moderately active last night. West winds pushed the fire downslope near Black Mountain, but as winds died, the fire spread and activity slowed. Elsewhere, the fire burned interior, and it did not grow significantly around the perimeter.

Through the night, two night-flight helicopters one on loan from the Angeles National Forest and one from Kern County Fire Department dropped water on the fire that was active close to the community of Wofford Heights. No structures have been damaged or destroyed by the fire.

The Highway 155 closure was extended eastward and now begins at Sierra Vista Drive in Wofford Heights. The west side of the closure remains the eastern junction of Pascoe Road.

The other road closures remain the same:
Forest Highway 90 from Highway 155 to Portuguese Pass
Old State Road in Wofford Heights at its junction with Mountain Shadow Road

August 21, 2016 at 9:36 PM

Slightly stronger winds shifted to the southwest this afternoon, pushing smoke east into Riverkern and Kernville. At higher elevations, the smoke disipated as the inversion lifted this afternoon, allowing aircraft to conduct water and retardant drops and reconnaisance flights. Firefighters constructed contingency hadline and laid hose around Riverkern and Kernville. Crews remain on standby in those communities as a precautionary measure.

Most of the smoke produced today that is now affecting valley communities came from the northeast side of the fire where it crossed Spear Creek and is burning toward Sugarloaf Peak.

Early this evening, the fire advanced downslope to within approximately a mile from the upper Wofford Heights area. Protecting communities in that area is the priority for firefighters, who are actively engaged and working through the night to suppress the fire.

Many firefighters are moving from the incident command post at Camp 9 to a base camp that has been established in Glennville at the rodeo grounds (196 Pacoe Road). It is closer to the fire, allowing firefighters to spend more of their day working on the fireline rather than commuting. Some crews will move to the north side of the fire to a spike camp at R Ranch in Johnsondale.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Fire behavior was moderated early in the day with the inversion in place but increased as the inversion broke at higher elevations mid-afternoon. The critically dry and beetle-killed vegetation is being thoroughly consumed as it burns in much of the fire, generating abundant smoke. Where the fire is burning in timber, for example on the west and northwest sides, it is steadily backing (not running) with intensity and very resistant to control. Where it is burning in grass and shrubs, it’s very responsive to wind speed: burning quickly with increased winds and creeping when winds decrease.

Winds were slightly stronger today but remain atypically weak for this area. A very week thunderstorm occurred about 20 miles north of the area not affecting fire behavior. Tomorrow, the chance of thunderstorms increases to around 40 percent. Winds will be slightly stronger than previous nights (gusting to 15 mph), temperatures slightly cooler (50s to mid-60s), and the maximum humidity slightly higher (50 percent).

August 21, 2016 at 11:29 AM

Community Meetings Today:

California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 and Kern County Fire Department personnel, with representatives from the Sequoia National Forest and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, will provide fire updates and answer questions at two public meetings this evening:

– Linns Valley-Poso Flat Elementary School, 158 White River Rd., Glennville, at 5 p.m..

– Ducor Union Elementary School cafeteria, 23761 Ave. 56, Ducor, at 7:30 p.m.

Fire Summary:

After the inversion lifted yesterday afternoon, Wofford Heights residents could see flames to the north from Black Mountain to Split Mountain. To protect the community, firefighters are building dozer and hand line north of Wofford Heights and improving lines used in previous fires. Toward Alta Sierra and Greenhorn, the fire is backing slowly downslope to Highway 155, clearing out the understory as it approaches the road. On the western side, firefighters are improving Sandy Creek Road from Highway 155 north toward Panorama Heights. Yesterday, they scouted a route where a dozer line can be constructed toward Telephone Ridge to protect ranch grasslands to the southwest. Structure protection continues in areas around Panorama Heights, Pine Flat, Poso Park, Sugarloaf Peak, and Sugarloaf Mountain Park. Firefighters are building dozer lines, laying hose, and using retardant drops in these areas to protect homes should the fire move north out of Spear Creek. Yesterday they also completed a contingency line from Tobias Peak to Baker Point. Smoke persisted over the fire area yesterday, providing shade that helped raise relative humidity and slow fire growth.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Smoky conditions this morning will remain until the inversion breaks. A 20 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms, with potential for lightning and gusty, erratic outflow winds, is predicted for the fire area today. Measurable rain is not expected. The temperature will be similar to yesterday, with a slightly higher relative humidity.

The fire has moved out of areas of heavy beetle-killed trees on the east and south sides, making direct fireline construction in certain areas possible. The vegetation remains critically dry. Firefighters remain at risk from weakened and dead trees falling in burned and unburned areas, limiting their ability to work close to the fire’s edge.

Closures:

The Sequoia National Forest has issued an area, road and trail closure for the area affected by the Cedar Fire (Order No. 0513-16-18). General boundaries of the closure: south of Highway 50, west of Highway 99, north of Sawmill Road, and east of the western Forest boundary. The official closure and a map is posted at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4964.

The following roads are closed:

– Highway 155 at the eastern junction of Pascoe Road on the west side to the Sequoia National Forest boundary on the east.

– Forest Highway 90 from Highway 155 to Portuguese Pass.

– Old State Road in Wofford Heights at its junction with Mountain Shadow Road.

Evacuations:

The following areas within Wofford Heights are under a precautionary evacuation order, which means that the fire may become a threat in the near future. All residents are advised to be prepared to leave the area at a moment’s notice.

– Pala Ranches

– Homestead Tract

– Residences north of Anchorage Road

The following communities in Kern County are under a recommended evacuation order, which means the fire is an imminent threat and all people are strongly advised to leave and seek shelter away from the fire area. A recommended evacuation notice will likely be the last warning given for Kern County communities.

– Alta Sierra

– Slick Rock

– Shirley Meadows

The following communities in Tulare County are under a mandatory evacuation order:

– Posey

– Pine Flat

– Pine Mountain

– Sugarloaf, including Sugarloaf Mountain Park and Sugarloaf Village

– California Hot Springs

– Panorama Heights

– McClenny Tract

– Spear Creek Mountain Homes

– White River Summer Homes

– Portuguese Meadow

– Balance Rock

– Idlewild

– Poso Park

For more information, call the Tulare County Emergency Operations: 559-623-0200.

Evacuation Shelters:

– St. Jude’s Catholic Church, Wofford Heights (open 24 hours a day).

– First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella, 3701 Suhre St., Lake Isabella.

– Granite Hills High School in Porterville (1701 E. Putnam Ave). The shelter can accommodate cats, dogs and other small pets. Evacuees with large animals and livestock can contact Terry Way’s Ranch and Equine Rescue at 918-541-3572 (416 N. Anderson Way, Exeter).

Unified Command: Incident Commanders Mike Minton, California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 representing the U.S. Forest Service, and Bill Steers, Kern County Fire Department.

August 20, 2016 at 9:36 PM

California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 and Kern County Fire Department personnel, with representatives from the Sequoia National Forest and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, will provide fire updates and answer questions at two public meetings on Sunday, August 21:

– Linns Valley-Poso Flat Elementary School, 158 White River Rd., Glennville, at 5 p.m.

– Ducor Union Elementary School cafeteria, 23761 Ave. 56, Ducor, at 7:30 p.m.

Smoke persisted over the fire area most of the day, providing shade that helped raise relative humidity and slow fire growth. The acreage increase—approximately 1,200 acres—was the smallest increment since the fire started. On the west perimeter, the fire crossed Sandy Creek Road in several places. Building direct line to contain these stringers of fire was not possible, but firefighters today scouted a route where a dozer line can be constructed toward Telephone Ridge to protect ranches and homes south of Sandy Creek Road. Structure protection continued in the Panorama Heights area on the west side, with firefighters using dozer lines, hose lays, and retardant drops to protect homes that might be in the fire’s path. Firefighters built line around a two-acre spot fire near Tobias Peak. A contingency line, consisting of dozer and handline, from Tobias Meadow to Baker Point was expected to be completed tonight. Tonight, firefighters will aim to check fire growth, so that contingency lines can continue to be built away from the fire’s leading edges.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

The fire has moved out of areas of heavy beetle-killed trees on the east and south sides. But with all vegetation remaining dry and drought-stressed, active fire behavior and smoke are expected overnight. The intense fire behavior and threat of weakened and dead trees falling in burned and unburned areas remain hazardous for firefighters, limiting their ability to work close to the fire’s edge.

The slight chance of thunderstorms predicted for the fire area today failed to materialize, with no storms developing closer than 30 miles away. Dry weather and partly cloudy skies are expected overnight, with maximum relative humidity expected to reach 30 to 40 percent. Terrain-driven winds will prevail, with westerly ridge winds to around 10 mph in the early evening, becoming northwest overnight.

Closures:

The Sequoia National Forest has issued an area, road, and trail closure for the area affected by the Cedar Fire (Order No. 0513-16-18). General boundaries of the closure: south of Highway 50, west of Highway 99, north of Sawmill Road, and east of the western Forest boundary. The official closure order and a map are posted at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4964.

The following roads are closed:

– Highway 155 at the eastern junction of Pascoe Road on the west side to the Sequoia National Forest boundary on the east

– Forest Highway 90 from Highway 155 to Portuguese Pass

– Old State Road in Wofford Heights at its junction with Mountain Shadow Road

Evacuations:

The following areas within Wofford Heights are under a precautionary evacuation order, which means that the fire may become a threat in the near future. All residents are advised to be prepared to leave the area at a moment’s notice.

– Pala Ranches

– Homestead Tract

– Residences north of Anchorage Road

The following communities in Kern County are under a recommended evacuation order, which means the fire is an imminent threat and all people are strongly advised to leave and seek shelter away from the fire area. A recommended evacuation notice will likely be the last warning given for Kern County communities.

– Alta Sierra

– Slick Rock

– Shirley Meadows

The following communities in Tulare County are under a mandatory evacuation order:

– Posey

– Pine Flat

– Pine Mountain

– Sugarloaf, including Sugarloaf Mountain Park and Sugarloaf Village

– California Hot Springs

– Panorama Heights

– McClenny Tract

– Spear Creek Mountain Homes

– White River Summer Homes

– Portuguese Meadow

– Balance Rock

– Idlewild

– Poso Park

For more information, call the Tulare County Emergency Operations Center: 559-623-0200.

Evacuation Shelters:

– St. Jude’s Catholic Church, Wofford Heights (open 24 hours a day)

– First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella, 3701 Suhre St., Lake Isabella

– Granite Hills High School in Porterville (1701 E. Putnam Ave). The shelter can accommodate cats, dogs and other small pets. Evacuees with large animals and livestock can contact Terry Way’s Ranch and Equine Rescue at 918-541-3572 (416 N. Anderson Way, Exeter).

Unified Command: Incident Commanders Mike Minton, California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 representing the U.S. Forest Service, and Bill Steers, Kern County Fire Department.

August 20, 2016 at 9:59 AM

California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 and Kern County Fire Department personnel, along with representatives from the Sequoia National Forest and Kern County Sheriff’s Department will conduct a meeting for the public today at 6:00 pm at Faith Community (Four Square) Church, 20 Panorama Drive, Wofford Heights.

No structures have been damaged or destroyed. Firefighters finished wrapping the Tobias Peak and Baker Point Lookouts yesterday, and they remain intact. The significant smoke column that was visible yesterday from nearby communities was generated as the fire burned in the bowl south of Sunday peak on the southwest side. Crews have successfully kept the fire from advancing further south of Highway 155. They continue to brush along the road and mop up along the fireline.

Last night, the fire was active, but less so than the night before. For example, it was primarily backing downslope toward Highway 155 and the community of Panorama Heights. Crews monitored the fire though the night, and on the southeast side they were able to install hose along existing fireline.

One of today’s priorities is to work on perimeter control and hold the fire behind established firelines. Dozer operators will construct more line, and crews with hand tools will fine tune and connect those lines. They will be assisted by aircraft, which are available to water and retardant drops and reconnaissance and mapping flights. Another priority remains the protection of immediately threatened communities

Weather and Fire Behavior:

An inversion over the fire area led to reduced fire-behavior last night. When the inversion lifts, analysts expect fire activity to increase. The fire has moved out of the tree-mortality area on the east side, and as a result, fire behavior should be less intense. In a significant portion of the fire, fire behavior is being driven more by the dry, beetle-killed and drought-stressed vegetation than by wind. The intense fire behavior and the high likelihood of trees falling in burned and unburned areas, pose serious hazards to firefighters, limiting their ability to directly access the fire’s edge.

The temperature will be in the 80s to low 90s. The minimum relative humidity is expected to be around 15 percent. Light, variable winds will be 5–10 mph, gusting to 15 mph. Monsoonal moisture brings a slight chance of thunderstorms to the fire area today. Dry lightning and gusty winds could accompany the storms. The incident meteorologist expects any thunderstorms that do develop to likely remain north of the fire area.

Closures:

The Sequoia National Forest has issued an area, road, and trail closure for the area affected by the Cedar Fire (Order No. 0513-16-18). The general boundaries of the closure are as follows: south of Highway 50, west of Highway 99, north of the Sawmill Road, and east of the western Forest boundary. Go to the fire’s webpage on Inciweb for the official closure and a map (inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4964).

The following roads are closed:

– Highway 155 at the eastern junction of Pascoe Road on the west side to the Sequoia National Forest boundary on the east

– Forest Highway 90 from Highway 155 to Portuguese Pass

– Old State Road in Wofford Heights at its junction with Mountain Shadow Road

Evacuations:

The following areas within Wofford Heights are under a precautionary evacuation order, which means that the fire may become a threat in the near future. All residents are advised to be prepared to leave the area at a moment’s notice.

– Pala Ranches

– Homestead Tract

– Residences north of Anchorage Road

The following communities in Kern County are under a recommended evacuation order, which means the fire is an imminent threat and all people are strongly advised to leave and seek shelter away from the fire area. A recommended evacuation notice will likely be the last warning given.

– Alta Sierra

– Slick Rock

– Shirley Meadows

The following communities in Tulare County are under a mandatory evacuation order:

– Posey

– Pine Flat

– Pine Mountain

– Sugar Loaf, including Sugar Mountain Park and Sugar Loaf Village

– California Hot Springs

– Panorama Heights

– McClenny Tract

– Spear Creek Mountain Homes

– White River Summer Homes

– Portuguese Meadow

– Balance Rock

– Idlewild

– Poso Peak

Call Tulare County Emergency Operations Center for more information (559-623-0200).

Evacuation Shelters:

– St. Jude’s Catholic Church, Wofford Heights (open during the day).

– Granite Hills High School in Porterville (1701 E. Putnam Ave). The shelter is capable of accommodating comfort animals (e.g., cats and dogs). Evacuees with large animals and livestock can contact Terry Way’s Ranch and Equine Rescue at 918-541-3572 (416 N. Anderson Way, Exeter).

Unified Command: Incident Commanders Mike Minton, California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 representing the US Forest Service and Bill Steers, Kern County Fire Department.

August 19, 2016 at 10:53 PM

The fire was very active today. The significant smoke column that was visible all day from nearby communities was generated as the fire bured in the bowl south of Sunday peak on the southwest side. Last night and today firefighters wrapped the Tobias Peak and Baker Point Lookouts, and they remain intact. No structures have been damaged or destroyed. Firefighters held the fire within containment lines on the southern side along Highway 155. They also brushed and prepped fireline along the highway. Crews and dozer operators worked in and around threatened communities, providing point protection. Aircraft assisted firefighters on the ground with water and retardant drops, particularly on the northwest side near Panorama Heights.

Firefighters will work through the night, maintaining a presence in threatened communities, mainly on the south and west sides of the fire. The priority for crews working on perimeter control is to hold the fire on the south side, keeping it from becoming established south of Highway 155.

Weather and Fire Behavior:

Fire-behavior analysts expect the fire to be very active again tonight. The maximum relative humidity should be around 35 percent, but the beetle-killed and drought-stressed vegetation, which is driving fire behavior, is so dry that the increase in humidity is unlikely to have a moderating effect. The fire has moved out of the tree-mortality area on the east side, and as a result, fire behavior should be less intense. The temperature will be in the upper 50s and lower 60s tonight. Westerly winds will be light on the ridgetops (5–10 mph). Downslope winds will also be light (3–7 mph).

August 19, 2016 at 12:28 PM

The fire is active, with uphill runs, group torching of vegetation, and spotting ahead of main fire front. Poor relative humidity recovery led to active nighttime fire behavior. Fire behavior moderated only during the early morning hours with the inversion.

August 19, 2016 at 10:15 AM

The fire was very active through the night as hot, dry conditions persisted. It spread beyond the firelines that crews constructed yesterday on the northwest tip. Further north near Baker Peak, dozer operators constructed indirect fireline in an attempt to halt the fire’s northward spread and protect the community of Johnsondale. On the south side near Greenhorn Summit, the fire slowly advanced downslope on the north side of Highway 155 where firefighters held it.

Fire-behavior analysts expect the fire to be very active again today, preventing firefighters on the ground from getting close enough to construct direct handline. The fire is in an area of the Sequoia National Forest that has numerous beetle-killed trees, which, combined with drought stress, creates conditions for aggressive fire behavior. Today’s priority for crews and engines is to have a presence in and protect communities most directly affected by the fire. The fire is holding on the ridges west of Wofford Heights, Kernville, and River Kern, and those communities are not under an evacuation order. Firefighters will also construct indirect line where it will be most effective in halting or slowing the fire’s growth.

Road Closures:
Highway 155 is closed at the eastern junction of Pascoe Road on the west side to the Sequoia National Forest boundary on the east
Forest Highway 90 is closed from Highway 155 to Portuguese Pass
Old State Road has been closed in Wofford Heights at its junction with Mountain Shadow Road

Evacuations:

The following areas are under a recommended evacuation order, which means the fire is an imminent threat and all people are strongly advised to leave and seek shelter away from the fire area. A recommended evacuation notice will likely be the last warning given.

In Kern County: Alta Sierra, Slick Rock, and Shirley Meadows

In Tulare County: Portuguese Meadow, Panorama Heights, Poso Park, and Sugarloaf Village. Call Tulare County Emergency Operations Center for information (559-623-0200).

An evacuation center at St. Jude Catholic Church in Wofford Heights is open during the day for affected residents. American Red Cross: safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

Unified Command: Incident Commanders Mike Minton, California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 representig the US Forest Service and Bill Steers, Kern County Fire Department.

August 18, 2016 at 8:11 PM

Today the fire grew significantly to the northeast in dense forested area. Firefighters held the fire on the southwest side of the fire off the 155. Heavy equipment was moved to the north focusing on creating dozer containment lines ahead of the fire.

The beetle-killed and drought-stressed trees, which can fall unexpectedly in unburned areas, are further weakened by fire, posing a hazard for firefighters. Usually trees remain standing even after fire moves through an area. But the numerous stressed trees on the landscape fall more readily, creating another hazard and potentially resulting in the fire spreading beyond its existing perimeter. Such hazards are a significant safety concern for firefighters who work at night.

The priority for tonight’s crews is to reinforce the work the day-shift crews did to hold the fire. Crews will conduct firing operations where it is safe and as weather conditions allow. The buffer created by firing operations is intended to halt or at least slow the fire’s spread, giving firefighters a possible opportunity to fight the fire directly.

Road Closures:

– Highway 155 is Closed at the Sequoia National Forest Boundary on the southern end and at Pascoe Road on the northern end

– Forest Highway 90 is Closed from Highway 155 to Portuguese Pass

– Old State Road has been Closed in Wofford Heights at its junction with Mountain Shadow Road

Evacuations:

The following areas are under a recommended evacuation order, which means the fire is an imminent threat and all people are strongly advised to leave and seek shelter away from the fire area. A recommended evacuation notice will likely be the last warning given.

– In Tulare County: Portuguese Meadow, Panorama Heights, Poso Park, and Sugarloaf Village.

– In Kern County: Alta Sierra, Slick Rock, and Shirley Meadows
An evacuation center at St. Jude Catholic Church in Wofford Heights is open during the day for affected residents. The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php

August 18, 2016 at 7:00 PM

CA IMT1 (Minton) in command. Incident is in Unified Command with USFS, Kern County Fire Dept., with cooperation from California Highway Patrol, and Kern County Sheriff. Evacuations to communities of Alta Sierra, Slick Rock, Shirley Meadows, River Kern, Panorama Heights, Portuguese Meadows and Sugar Loaf. High smoke advisory in Porterville and surrounding areas.

August 17, 2016 at 10:43 PM

The fire is moving in a north-easterly direction at this time. Firefighters are focusing resources on the southern and eastern flanks of the fire in an effort to protect the communities of Alta Sierra, Slick Rock and Shirley Meadows.

August 17, 2016 at 8:42 PM

Photo courtesy Inyo National Forest

Photo courtesy Inyo National Forest

The Cedar fire located on the Sequoia National Forest, started yesterday just West of Lake Isabella. Today the fire exhibited extreme fire behavior, growing to approximately 3000 acres. Residents of the Owens Valley and visitors to the Inyo National Forest and Bishop BLM lands should be advised that smoke from the Cedar fire may impact the area very soon.

August 17, 2016 at 8:07 PM

A recommended evacuation has been issued to the communities of Alta Sierra, Slick Rock and Shirley Meadows. An Evacuation Center is available at St. Judes Catholic Church, 86 Nellie Dent Road, Wofford Heights, Ca 93285.

The Cedar Fire began at approximately 4:30 p.m., August 16, 2016 and is located near Cedar Creek, in the Greenhorn Mountains above Wofford Heights and Lake Isabella on the Sequoia National Forest, Kern River Ranger District. Local firefighters responded immediately yesterday afternoon and worked through the night fighting this fire. The Cedar Fire is being managed under Unified Command with the U.S. Forest Service and Kern County Fire. Additional firefighting resources have been ordered, including California Interagency Incident Management Team 5, which has arrived and been briefed on the status of the fire. The Incident Management Team will assume command of the fire at 6:00 a.m. Thursday, August 18. The fire will remain in Unified Command with Kern County Fire.

Currently, the fire is on both sides of Highway 155 with portions of the highway closed. The fire is moving in a north-easterly direction at this time. Firefighters are focusing resources on the southern and eastern flanks of the fire in an effort to protect the communities of Alta Sierra, Slick Rock and Shirley Meadows.

Road Closures:

·Highway 155 is Closed at the Sequoia National Forest Boundary on the southern end and at Pascoe Road on the northern end;
·Forest Highway 90 is Closed from Highway 155 to Portuguese Pass;
·Old State Road has been Closed in Wofford Heights at it’s junction with Mountain Shadow Road.

August 17, 2016 at 8:55 AM

Fire is presently 450 acres. Forest Highway 90 (Road 24S15) is closed. Currently, the fire is on both sides of Highway 155 with portions of the highway closed.

August 16, 2016 at 9:18 PM

Fire is presently 300 acres. Forest Highway 90 (Road 24S15) is closed. More suppression and overhead resources are ordered and enroute. CA IMT1 (Minton) mobilized with inbrief 08/17/16.

Running on both sides of Hwy 155, at a rapid rate of spread. The incident is in a tree mortality area.