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Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name: KNP Complex, Kings Canyon
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: KNP
  • Size (acres): 21,777
  • Percent Contained: 0%
  • Estimate of Containment: October 10, 2021
  • Personnel: 416
  • Structures Destroyed: 0

KNP Complex (2 fires), Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, NPS. IMT 1 (SA Blue Team). Nine miles northeast of Three Rivers, CA. Timber. Active fire behavior with flanking, uphill runs and short-range spotting. Structures threatened. Evacuations, area, road and trail closures in effect

September 19, 2021 at 3:56 PM

There was minimal fire growth on the fire yesterday. Smoke cleared up in the afternoon, allowing air operations to resume direct attack on the fire in steep terrain inaccessible to fire crews. This includes areas on the southern perimeter of the fire nearest the Three Rivers community. Contingency dozer line construction for community protection was accomplished in areas southwest of the fire, and plans were made for further dozer fire line construction. Despite the fire reaching the Four Guardsmen in the Giant Forest, fuel removal efforts by firefighters, combined with structure wrap applied by crews to the base of the sequoia trees, successfully protected them. Fuel reduction burning will continue today as weather conditions allow.

The fire did not grow significantly in the direction of Three Rivers or park headquarters yesterday. Tulare County Fire and CAL FIRE continue to establish dozer lines and reinforce existing containment features, such as the Shepherd Saddle Road, between the community and the current fire footprint. Structure protection is underway in cabin communities along the Mineral King Road. More resources have arrived on the fire today, and direct suppression efforts will occur as weather conditions permit.

The red flag warning continues through today. Crews are preparing for changes and possibly significant increases in fire activity. There have been no changes to evacuation warnings or orders at this time, but especially those that are currently under evacuation warning are urged to be ready to mobilize and leave should the warning escalate to an evacuation order. Explore a map of the areas under evacuation warning and order, as well as other evacuation resources, at www.tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies. A Red Cross evacuation center is located at the Woodlake Community Center at 145 Magnolia St, Woodlake, CA.

Sequoia National Park is closed to the public. Kings Canyon National Park remains open, but air quality impacts are significant. Air quality is seriously affected in Three Rivers. Particulate matter readings have been in the “hazardous” range for much of the day. Communities further from the parks are also feeling air quality impacts. Track your local air quality at www.fire.airnow.gov.

September 18, 2021 at 3:51 PM

The KNP Complex, ignited by lightning on the night of September 9, continues to grow in Sequoia National Park. The two fires that comprised the complex, the Paradise Fire and the Colony Fire, merged yesterday, and going forward will be considered a single fire.

Yesterday afternoon, smoke dispersed at the northeast end of the fire, and airflow increased, causing activity to pick up significantly. As of this morning, the fire has reached the vicinity of Red Fir maintenance area, with some spotting further north. Despite little to no relative humidity recovery overnight, fire growth overnight was fairly limited. The fire reached a small area of the Giant Forest yesterday, in the area known as the Four Guardsmen, where trees had been thoroughly prepped in recent days. The General Sherman Tree did not see fire yesterday. Hotshot crews are assessing on the ground this morning to ascertain if conditions are stable enough for more crews to reengage in this area.

By contrast, the southern end of the fire remained under a smoke inversion all day yesterday, with moderate fire behavior. The fire did not grow significantly in the direction of Three Rivers or park headquarters yesterday. Tulare County Fire and CAL FIRE continue to establish dozer lines and reinforce existing containment features, such as the Shepherd Saddle Road, between the community and the current fire footprint. Structure protection is underway in cabin communities along the Mineral King Road, with more resources assigned today to ramp up these efforts.
Winds are expected to pick up in and around the fire area. A red flag warning is in place starting at 5 p.m. today through Sunday. Crews are preparing for changes and possible significant increases in fire activity. There have been no changes to evacuation warnings or orders at this time. Residents currently under evacuation warning are urged to be ready to mobilize and leave should the warning escalate to an evacuation order. Explore a map of the areas under evacuation warning and order, as well as other evacuation resources, at www.tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies.

Sequoia National Park is closed to the public. Kings Canyon National Park remains open, but air quality impacts are significant. Air quality is seriously affected in Three Rivers. Particulate matter readings have been in the “hazardous” range for much of the day. Communities further from the parks are also feeling air quality impacts. Track your local air quality at www.fire.airnow.gov.  

Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Every time a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of this area. More info visit Know Before You Fly, http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.

Firefighters pose with the General Sherman Tree after wrapping it with structural wrap.

September 16, 2021 at 3:38 PM

The Paradise Fire is currently measured at 7,352 acres, and the Colony Fire is currently measured at 2,013 acres, for a combined total for the KNP Complex of 9,365 acres, with 0% containment.

Effective this morning, the Southern Area Blue Type 1 Incident Management Team is managing the KNP Complex under the leadership of Incident Commander Mark Morales. A community meeting is scheduled for September 17, 2021, at 7 p.m. at the Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building.
Crews are preparing the Giant Forest before the fire reaches that area, by removing fuel and applying structure wrap on some of the iconic monarch sequoias that characterize the most famous area of Sequoia National Park. The fire continues to grow in all directions. In recent days, crews continue structure protection around NPS headquarters and housing areas at Ash Mountain. Air operations is providing support to crews on the ground as well as structure protection for cabins in the Mineral King area. Cal-Fire and Tulare County is providing structure protection efforts in the Three Rivers Community outside the park, including creating fire breaks with dozers.

At this time, there has been no change to evacuation orders and warnings. An evacuation order is in place for part of the community of Three Rivers. The area of Three Rivers under mandatory evacuation is the Mineral King Road in its entirety, areas along Sierra King Drive, Crest Lane, Hammond Drive, and Oak Grove Drive, and areas along Highway 198 from the intersection with Mineral King Road to the Sequoia National Park entrance station.

The remainder of the community of Three Rivers is under evacuation warning. The evacuation warning is not an order. It means that residents should prepare for the possibility of evacuation, so that they will be ready to mobilize and leave should the evacuation warning escalate to an evacuation order. Explore a map of the areas under evacuation warning and order, as well as other evacuation resources, at www.tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies.

Sequoia National Park is closed to the public. Kings Canyon National Park remains open, but air quality impacts are likely. Air quality is seriously affected in Three Rivers. Particulate matter readings have been in the “hazardous” range for much of the day. Communities further from the parks are also feeling air quality impacts. Track your local air quality at www.fire.airnow.gov.

September 15, 2021 at 9:38 AM

The KNP Complex, ignited by lightning on the night of September 9, grew significantly yesterday. The complex is comprised of the Paradise Fire and the Colony Fire. Sequoia National Park is closed to the public, and employees that reside inside the park have been evacuated. Kings Canyon National Park remains open, but serious air quality impacts are possible.   The Paradise Fire has a new acreage of 5,914 acres, and the Colony Fire has a new acreage of 1,125 acres, for a combined total for the KNP Complex of 7,039, with 0% containment. These acreages may be updated throughout the day and will be posted on Inciweb.
 
  The Paradise Fire has grown to the west, prompting Tulare County Sheriff to issue a mandatory evacuation order for part of the community of Three Rivers. The area of Three Rivers under mandatory evacuation is the Mineral King Road in its entirety, areas along Sierra King Drive, Crest Lane, Hammond Drive, and Oak Grove Drive, and areas along Highway 198 from the intersection with Mineral King Road to the Sequoia National Park entrance station.
 
  The remainder of the community of Three Rivers is under evacuation warning. The evacuation warning is not an order. It means that residents should prepare for the possibility of evacuation, so that they will be ready to mobilize and leave should the evacuation warning escalate to an evacuation order. Explore a map of the areas under evacuation warning and order, as well as other evacuation resources, at tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/.
 
  To view the video of last night’s community meeting at the Three Rivers Memorial Building, visit www.facebook.com/SequoiaKingsNPS/videos. The parks’ fire management operation will transition with a Southern-area Blue Type 1 National Incident Management Team tomorrow. Type 1 teams are equipped to handle the largest and highest-complexity emergency situations. Future community meetings will be scheduled when the team is in place.
 
  The KNP Complex has been a full suppression incident since the discovery of the smokes the morning following the lightning storm. In the case of the Paradise Fire, extremely steep topography and a total lack of access has prevented any ground crew operations, and in the case of the Colony Fire, only a limited amount of ground crew access has been possible. Both fires are utilizing extensive aerial resources performing water and retardant drops.
 
  Air quality is seriously affected in Three Rivers. Particulate matter readings have been in the “hazardous” range for much of the day. Communities further from the parks are also feeling air quality impacts. Track your local air quality at www.fire.airnow.gov.

September 14, 2021 at 7:12 PM

UPDATE: The Paradise Fire is now measured at 4,821 acres, and the Colony Fire is now measured at 1,040 acres.

Per Tulare County Sheriff, the mandatory evacuation order has expanded to include the following areas of Three Rivers:

  • All of Mineral King Road, from the intersection with Highway 198 to the end of the road
  • Areas along Sierra King Drive, Crest Lane, Hammond Drive, and Oak Grove Drive
  • Areas along Highway 198 from the intersection with Mineral King Road to the Sequoia National Park entrance station

The evacuation WARNING has expanded to include all of the community of Three Rivers, from Edison Drive west to the Mineral King Road. This includes North Fork Drive, South Fork Drive, Cherokee Oaks, Old Three Rivers Road, and Blossom Drive. 

 The KNP Complex, ignited by lightning on the night of September 9, continues to grow in Sequoia National Park. The complex is comprised of the Paradise Fire and the Colony Fire. Last night, the Paradise Fire made a downhill run, and crossed the middle fork of the Kaweah River and the Generals Highway. As a result of this, the parks are evacuating employees from the Ash Mountain Headquarters Complex and nearby housing areas.

 In the coming days, the current and the incoming Type 1 Incident Management Team will operate out of the Three Rivers Memorial Building.

The KNP Complex has been a full suppression incident since the discovery of the smokes the morning following the lightning storm. In the case of the Paradise Fire, extremely steep topography and a total lack of access has prevented any ground crew operations, and in the case of the Colony Fire, only a limited amount of ground crew access has been possible. Both fires have utilized extensive aerial resources performing water and retardant drops, but even this was hindered yesterday by bad visibility in extremely smoky conditions.