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Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name: Windy, Tule River Indian Reservation
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: TIA
  • Size (acres): 97,554
  • Percent Contained: 91%
  • Estimate of Containment: November 1, 2021
  • Personnel: 334
  • Structures Destroyed: 128

Windy, Tule River Fire Department, BIA. Transfer of command from IMT 2 (GB Team 6) back to the local unit will occur today. Twenty-two miles east of Porterville, CA. Timber and brush. Minimal fire behavior with backing, creeping and smoldering. Numerous residences and structures threatened. Area, road and trail closures in effect. Precipitation occurred over the fire area yesterday.

October 19, 2021 at 9:04 AM

CURRENT CONDITIONS: A section of perimeter line on the east side of the fire was verified contained yesterday, increasing the overall containment to 91 percent. Monday’s rain made a few areas too wet for vehicle and equipment access to allow repair work to continue. Rain helped keep fire activity at a minimum. With a warming and drying trend starting today, roads and soils are expected to dry out quickly which will allow full resumption of work. There are six excavators in use to assist in repair work on the fire, with more on order. Excavators are a critical tool used for repair work where soil and vegetation were moved and need to be relocated. 

This evening, Great Basin Incident Management Team 6 (GBIMT6) will be transitioning command of the fire to a local Type 3 organization. Unified command will be under the Tule River Indian Reservation and Sequoia National Forest. In preparation for this transition, GBIMT6 released some resources while keeping enough personnel to continue firefighting efforts and complete fire suppression repair work. A few team members will stay to help provide a smooth transition between the teams. More personnel and equipment will be ordered or released as the needs of the fire change. 

Incident Commander Jeremy Kiesling and the rest of GBIMT6 thank the local communities for their support during the Windy Fire.

October 18, 2021 at 10:22 AM

A cold front moved through the area early this morning, bringing cold temperatures and light to moderate precipitation. The Remote Automatic Weather Systems (RAWS) near the Windy Fire recorded up to 0.26” of rain on the west side of the fire, but only 0.01” on the east side. Low clouds are expected to linger over the west side of the fire until early afternoon, which will limit helicopter operations. Gusty winds may develop in some areas today, but higher humidity should make the fine fuels (grasses and brush) less likely to burn. This reduces the likelihood of the fire becoming more active. A drying and warming trend is expected starting tomorrow with variable winds through midweek.  

Firefighters continue mopping up hot spots near the fire perimeter. There may be occasional smoke as interior pockets of fuel burn out. Also, fire suppression repair work is ongoing on both indirect dozer lines and any lines inside the fire perimeter. The construction of water bars will help with proper drainage and reduce potential for damage to water quality downslope. Dozer line rehabilitation and chipping activities continue. Crews are also working at moving soil back over bulldozer fuelbreaks and other fireline repairs. Firefighters will continue to patrol and mop up within the fire’s interior. They are removing surplus equipment from the fire area. Expect to encounter fire engines, water trucks, and utility vehicles on the roads, residents are advised to be cautious. 

October 17, 2021 at 10:12 AM

The Windy Fire was mostly quiet Saturday despite very low humidity and several days of above-average temperatures. Because fire activity was low to moderate most of the day, crews had an opportunity to continue repairing and reinforcing containment line.  

The only sections of fireline that remain uncontained are a four-mile stretch between Devils Den and Cold Springs on the west side, a two-mile section between Tobias Creek and Ant Canyon on the southeast side, and a one-mile gap near Coy Creek at the northern edge. 

A dry and breezy cold front will move quickly over the fire area today. Stronger winds will last through Monday, and temperatures will steadily drop to seasonal norms. 

October 13, 2021 at 10:09 AM

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office will remove all Evacuation Orders and Warnings for the Windy Fire effective at noon today (Oct. 13). Sheriff Boudreaux will remove all Evacuation Orders and Warnings associated with the Windy Fire for the communities of Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Upper and Lower Peppermint, Camp Whitsett, R Ranch, Johnsondale, Sugarloaf, Sugarloaf Sawmill, Sugarloaf Mountain Park, Ponderosa, Idlewild, Balance Rock, Poso Park, Quaking Aspen, Camp Nelson, Pierpoint, Coy Flat, Cedar Slope, Alpine Village, Sequoia Crest, McNallys, California Hot Springs, Posey, Panoramic Heights, and Gold Ledge. These areas will include all structures, residences, and businesses. See the Windy Evacuation Area Map at https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/

The Windy Fire Area, Trails, and Roads Closure established by the Sequoia National Forest, Giant Sequoia National Monument, and Western Divide Ranger District remains in effect. Many hazards exist in the fire area: fire weakened trees, smoldering stump holes, and rocks or debris that could fall from steep slopes onto trails and into roadways. These pose an immediate safety concern to the public long after a fire reaches containment. Only authorized Forest and fire personnel are allowed inside the closed areas. Roadblocks remain at Western Divide Highway (M107) near Ponderosa, M99 at Lloyd Meadow Road, and Parker Pass (M50) at Parker Meadow above California Hot Springs.  

Under the current Forest Closure Order, the west side of the Sequoia National Forest is closed to recreation on M50 where it reaches the Forest boundary near California Hot Springs. The southern edge ties in with the northern perimeter of the French Fire closed area near White River. The northern edge ties in with the Castle Fire closed area near Ponderosa. M99, coming from Kernville, is closed near Johnsondale Bridge. See a full description of the Forest Order at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/7841/67270/. For the current Windy Fire Area, Trails, and Roads Closure map, visit  https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/photos/CASQF/2021-09-12-1443-Windy/related_files/pict20210909-165257-0.jpeg 

Please continue to monitor fire updates, Inciweb, and the Sequoia National Forest website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia  for current status regarding Forest Closures. 

Drivers should be mindful of fire personnel on the ground and fire equipment in the area. Crews continue to remove hazard trees and suppress fire near containment lines and in sequoia groves.  

SEQUOIA STATUS UPDATE: The Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument announced Tuesday that the Windy Fire burned into 11 giant sequoia groves­­: eight within the Forest, two on the Tule River Indian Reservation, and one shared across agency boundaries. All but four mature giant sequoias in the Starvation Creek Grove burned in a high-severity fire; recent wildfires and fuels reduction efforts reduced fire severity in three other groves. Four other groves will be evaluated once fire hazards decrease. For details about individual groves, historic structures, and Forest Service infrastructure that were lost, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/news/sequoia/news-events

WEATHER CONDITIONS: A warming and drying trend is forecast to last until Saturday. Relative humidity could drop to single digits by Saturday.  

October 12, 2021 at 10:52 AM

Fire crews spent Monday patrolling and monitoring the Windy Fire containment lines to ensure they would hold against strong winds forecast for late morning to early evening. Predicted gusts exceeding 45 miles per hour did not occur near the fire area. Wind-driven dust created significant haze across the fire and in mountain foothills; this contributed to lower wind speeds on the ground in the fire area. Heavier fuels remaining in timbered stands and smoldering vegetation left from past fires continued burning at low intensity.

On the northern flank, firefighters will continue removing hazard trees and extinguishing isolated areas of heat. Similar work will be done on the southern flank in preparation for lifting evacuation orders in the Sugarloaf communities. On the eastern perimeter, firefighters aim to prevent fire growth into the Kern River Valley. On the western side, resource advisors will accompany crews that are cleaning up and reinforcing perimeter lines. In the sequoia groves, firefighters will continue efforts to prevent further fire damage.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Dry and cool conditions prevailed overnight Monday. Dry and warming temperatures are expected to lower humidity’s for the remainder of the week as the area transitions from today’s northwest wind.

TULARE COUNTY RESIDENT INFORMATION: Residents requesting information on the status of their property can call the Tulare County Information Hotline at (559) 802-9790. Affected property owners should complete the September Lightning Fire Information Form online at: https://bit.ly/3ETdZjI. Residents can sign up to receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.  

EVACUATION ORDERS AND WARNINGS: Because evacuation orders and warnings change often as fire containment grows, evacuees should refer to the Windy Fire Evacuation Warning Map at https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 211 for the latest information. Evacuation updates can be found on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7841 or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SequoiaNF/.

According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, evacuation orders are in effect in the following areas:

  • White River Summer Home Tract, Sugarloaf Saw Mill, Sugarloaf Mountain Park.
  • Mountain Aire and Rogers Camp.
  • Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (Forest Service Road 22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, and west to M107 and M50. A roadblock prevents access to M99 and R Ranch and M50 and M107.

All roads within the Windy fire perimeter are closed, including Parker Pass (M50) between Johnsondale and California Hot Springs and the Western Divide Highway (M107) South of Ponderosa to the M50 Junction

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation warnings for the following roads and areas:

  • The McNallys area (Sherman Pass Road to Corral Creek, the community of R Ranch, structures, Forest Service roads, dirt roads, access roads, attached roads, and campgrounds).
  • Both sides of the Kern River from the Goldledge Campground south to Riverkern, Tulare County, and at the Tulare/Kern border. This warning includes all private properties, businesses, residences, structures, campsites, campgrounds, Forest Service roads, access roads, attached roads, and trails.
  • Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Coy Flat, Pierpoint, Quaking Aspen, Ponderosa, and Sequoia Crest.
  • Sugarloaf Village, Panorama Heights, Poso Park, Idlewild, Pleasant View, Balance Rock, Posey, and Vincent Ranch. The boundaries will be from Sugarloaf Peak west to Buck Peak; south to Vincent Ranch at the Tulare/Kern County line; east to Forest Service Road 24S07; and north to Sugarloaf Peak.
  • California Hot Springs and Pine Flat areas. The evacuation order includes M504 at Tyler Creek, southeast to Pine Flat, west to M56 and Fire Control Road, and north up Tyler Creek Road. This includes structures, side roads, and all attached roads.

ROAD CLOSURES AND RESTRICTIONS: Updates on road closures can be found on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7841 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SequoiaNF/.

October 11, 2021 at 9:21 AM

A powerful storm system moved into the Kern River Valley overnight, bringing strong winds and cooler temperatures. A high wind warning takes effect today, with widespread gusts of 30 to 50 miles per hour on mountain peaks and gusts as high as 60 miles per hour along and east of the Divide.

To prepare for this event, firefighters spent the weekend monitoring open sections of the fireline, looking for signs of heat or fire that could threaten containment lines. They also patrolled completed portions of fireline and strengthened them where necessary to prevent a wind-driven breach. This mop-up work included chipping fallen trees, removing the chips, and felling dead or dying trees that pose a safety concern.

The Sequoia Group, a division of Great Basin Incident Management Team 6, spent the weekend assessing specific groves in the Sequoia National Forest to identify trees threatened by fire and doing necessary work to reduce additional tree mortality.

TULARE COUNTY RESIDENT INFORMATION: Residents requesting information on the status of their property can call the Tulare County Information Hotline at (559) 802-9790. Affected property owners should complete the September Lightning Fire Information Form online at: https://bit.ly/3ETdZjI. Residents can sign up to receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.  

EVACUATION ORDERS AND WARNINGS: Because evacuation orders and warnings change often as fire containment grows, evacuees should refer to the Windy Fire Evacuation Warning Map at https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 211 for the latest information. Evacuation updates can be found on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7841 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SequoiaNF/.  

According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, evacuation orders are in effect in the following areas: 

  • White River Summer Home Tract, Sugarloaf Saw Mill, Sugarloaf Mountain Park.
  • Mountain Aire and Rogers Camp. 
  • Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (Forest Service Road 22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, and west to M107 and M50. A roadblock prevents access to M99 and R Ranch and M50 and M107.  

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation warnings for the following roads and areas:

  • The McNallys area (Sherman Pass Road to Corral Creek, the community of R Ranch, structures, Forest Service roads, dirt roads, access roads, attached roads, and campgrounds).
  • Both sides of the Kern River from the Goldledge Campground south to Riverkern, Tulare County, and at the Tulare/Kern border. This warning includes all private properties, businesses, residences, structures, campsites, campgrounds, Forest Service roads, access roads, attached roads, and trails.
  • Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Coy Flat, Pierpoint, Quaking Aspen, Ponderosa, and Sequoia Crest.  
  • Sugarloaf Village, Panorama Heights, Poso Park, Idlewild, Pleasant View, Balance Rock, Posey, and Vincent Ranch. The boundaries will be from Sugarloaf Peak west to Buck Peak; south to Vincent Ranch at the Tulare/Kern County line; east to Forest Service Road 24S07; and north to Sugarloaf Peak. 
  • California Hot Springs and Pine Flat areas. The evacuation order includes M504 at Tyler Creek, southeast to Pine Flat, west to M56 and Fire Control Road, and north up Tyler Creek Road. This includes structures, side roads, and all attached roads. 

ROAD CLOSURES AND RESTRICTIONS: Updates on road closures can be found on Inciweb https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7841 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SequoiaNF/.  

The following roads are closed: 

  • At Jack Ranch Road and Old Stage Road  
  • Quaking Aspen and M107  
  • MT56 at Fountain Springs  
  • M50 at the Hot Springs Ranger Station for northbound traffic  
  • Forest Service Road 23S05

October 9, 2021 at 10:02 AM

Yesterday’s wetting rain minimized fire activity and growth across the fire. Fire activity is expected to be minimal to moderate today with lower relative humidity’s than yesterday.

Along access roads and containment lines, within the Sequoia National Forest, crews are conducting mop-up work to reinforce the fireline and make the area safer for firefighters and, eventually, the public. Firefighters are felling hazardous standing trees that are dead or dying and extinguishing pockets of fire. Infrared flights are scheduled to detect hot spots that remain in areas with rugged terrain more difficult to access.

Containment lines are likely to be tested on Monday when an anticipated storm brings wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour.

Please be cautious when travelling on re-opened roads this holiday weekend. Expect extra traffic and fire personnel commuting on the roads.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: The weekend forecast over the fire calls for drier conditions, but stormy weather is forecast for Monday. Weather and fire behavior experts on the Great Basin Incident Management Team 6 warn that increased wind speeds could change fire dynamics, especially at higher elevations and along the Western Divide.

TULARE COUNTY RESIDENT INFORMATION: Residents requesting information on the status of their property can call the Tulare County Information Hotline at (559) 802-9790. Affected property owners should complete the September Lightning Fire Information Form online at: https://bit.ly/3ETdZjI. Residents can sign up to receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.  

EVACUATION ORDERS AND WARNINGS: Because evacuation orders and warnings change often as fire containment grows, evacuees should refer to the Windy Fire Evacuation Warning Map at https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 211 for the latest information. Evacuation updates can be found on Inciweb at Inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7841 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SequoiaNF/

According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, evacuation orders are in effect in the following areas: 

  • White River Summer Home Tract, Sugarloaf Saw Mill, Sugarloaf Mountain Park
  • Mountain Aire and Rogers Camp 
  • Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (Forest Service Road 22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, west to M107 and M50  

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office has issued evacuation warnings for the following roads and areas:

  • The McNallys area (Sherman Pass Road to Corral Creek, the community of R Ranch, structures, Forest Ser-vice roads, dirt roads, access roads, attached roads, and campgrounds).
  • Both sides of the Kern River from the Goldledge Campground south to Riverkern, Tulare County, at the Tulare/Kern border. This warning will include all private properties, businesses, residences, structures, campsites, campgrounds, Forest Service roads, access roads, attached roads, and trails.
  • Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Coy Flat, Pierpoint, Quaking Aspen, Ponderosa, and Sequoia Crest  
  • Sugarloaf Village, Panorama Heights, Poso Park, Idlewild, Pleasant View, Balance Rock, Posey, and Vincent Ranch. The boundaries will be from Sugarloaf Peak west to Buck Peak; south to Vincent Ranch at the Tulare/ Kern County Line; east to Forest Service Road 24S07; and north to Sugarloaf Peak 
  • California Hot Springs and Pine Flat areas. The evacuation order includes M-504 at Tyler Creek, Southeast to Pine Flat, west to M-56 and Fire Control Road, north up Tyler Creek Road. This includes structures, side roads, and all attached roads 
  • A roadblock is in effect at M99 and R Ranch and M50 and M107  

October 8, 2021 at 10:38 AM

On its first day in command of the incident, the Great Basin Incident Management Team 6 (GB-IMT 6) continued patrolling and monitoring containment lines to ensure they would hold against stronger winds forecast for Thursday night and Friday.

GB-IMT 6 continued direct and indirect attacks on stretches of the fire perimeter where the fire is most active and containment lines are unfinished. Fire managers increased containment at the southeast boundary of the Tule River Indian Reservation where rugged and remote terrain near Lone Pine Mountain made direct attack too dangerous for firefighters. Crews are monitoring open sections of fireline between Devils Den and Cold Springs, south of Coy Peak at the northern perimeter, and between Baker Peak and Tobias Creek to the southeast. All of these are places where the fire is approaching areas of lighter fuels in burn scars from past incidents. Containment may increase based on weather and line construction progress.

A group deployed Thursday to offer firefighter access to sequoia groves in the fire interior and to assess their condition has been established. Other groups are busy removing hazardous trees from roadsides.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: A strong cold front that moved into the area from the west on Thursday is expected to bring light precipitation, cooler temperatures, and higher humidity to the Western Slope over-night into today. However, it is not likely to be enough moisture to significantly impact fire behavior. Daily smoke outlooks are available at https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/SouthernSierra-Sequoia.

TULARE COUNTY RESIDENT INFORMATION: Residents requesting information on the status of their property can call the Tulare County Information Hotline at (559) 802-9790. Affected property owners should complete the September Lightning Fire Information Form online at: https://bit.ly/3ETdZjI. Residents can sign up to receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com. 

October 7, 2021 at 11:45 AM

The Great Basin Incident Management Team 6 (GB-IMT 6) transitioned today with California Interagency Incident Management Team 5.

With containment lines holding on most of the fire perimeter, GB-IMT 6 is committing many resources on three sections where the fire is most active: in the west, on the Tule River Indian Reservation between Cold Springs Creek and County Road J42; in the east, between Tobias Creek and Ant Canyon; and in the north, between Coy Creek and the Bear Creek tributary. A group begins today to open firefighter access to sequoia groves in the fire interior and to assess their condition.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: A strong cold front moving into the area from the west today brings a chance of light precipitation, cooler temperatures, and higher humidity. The chance of measurable rain is greatest on the western slopes, though it is not expected to be a wetting rain that significantly impacts fire behavior. Daily smoke outlooks are available at https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/SouthernSierra-Sequoia.

TULARE COUNTY RESIDENT INFORMATION: Residents requesting information on the status of their property can call the Tulare County Information Hotline at (559) 802-9790. Affected property owners should complete the September Lightning Fire Information Form online at: https://bit.ly/3ETdZjI. Residents can sign up to receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.

EVACUATION ORDERS AND WARNINGS: Because evacuation orders and warnings change often as fire containment grows, evacuees should refer to the Windy Fire Evacuation Warning Map at https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 211 for the latest information. Evacuation updates can be found on Inciweb at Inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7841 and Facebook @SequoiaNF.

According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, evacuation orders are in effect in the following areas:

  • White River Summer Home Tract, Sugarloaf Saw Mill, Sugarloaf Mountain Park
  • Mountain Aire and Rogers Camp
  • Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (Forest Service Road 22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, west to M107 and M50

Sheriff Boudreaux on Wednesday downgraded an evacuation order to an evacuation warning for the McNallys area. This affects Sherman Pass Road to Corral Creek and includes the community of R Ranch, Forest Service roads, dirt roads, access roads, attached roads, and campgrounds. A roadblock is in effect at M99 and R Ranch and at M50 and M107.

According to the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, evacuation warnings remain in the following areas:

Both sides of the Kern River from the Goldledge Campground south to Riverkern, Tulare County, at the Tulare/Kern border. This warning will include all private properties, businesses, residences, structures, campsites, campgrounds, Forest Service roads, access roads, attached roads, and trails.

  • Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Coy Flat, Pierpoint, Quaking Aspen, Ponderosa, and Sequoia Crest
  • Sugarloaf Village, Panorama Heights, Poso Park, Idlewild, Pleasant View, Balance Rock, Posey, and Vincent Ranch. The boundaries will be from Sugarloaf Peak west to Buck Peak; south to Vincent Ranch at the Tulare/ Kern County Line; east to Forest Service Road 24S07; and north to Sugarloaf Peak
  • California Hot Springs and Pine Flat areas. The evacuation order includes M-504 at Tyler Creek, Southeast to Pine Flat, west to M-56 and Fire Control Road, north up Tyler Creek Road. This includes structures, side roads, and all attached roads
  • M99 and R Ranch and M50 and M107

October 6, 2021 at 10:37 AM

 This afternoon, Tulare County will be making an announcement regarding changes to Evacuation Orders and road closures on the east side of the fire. When we receive the information, it will be posted to Inciweb Inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7841 andFacebook @SequoiaNF

CURRENT SITUATION: The Windy Fire is 97,459 acres with 75% containment and is a full suppression fire. The fire is burning on the Tule River Indian Reservation and the Sequoia National Forest, which includes the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The fire increased 445 acres in the last 24 hours. The acreage increase is within the established indirect containment lines. Today, California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 (CIIMT 5) is transitioning with Great Basin Team 6, which will take command of the fire at 6 A.M. tomorrow.  CIIMT 5 has appreciated your patience, cooperation, and assistance during our assignment on the Windy Fire. Thank you.

Yesterday, additional containment was achieved on the east side from Tobias Creek north to Flynn Canyon in the Kern Canyon. Today, two areas remain a priority for securing containment: the west side on the Tule River Indian Reservation south to M50 (at the switchbacks), and the east side in the Kern River Canyon from Tobias Creek to Baker Peak.  

On the west side, the fire continues to move slowly westward towards the indirect dozer line and handlines that have been completed from M50 northwest to Lone Pine Mountain. With increased containment on the east side, hotshot crews will move to the west side to assess the potential for direct handline construction at the fire’s edge. From Lone Pine Mountain north to Wheatons on the Tule River Indian Reservation, the tactical firing operation has been completed, and crews continue strengthening and improving containment lines. Crews have a few more days of work on this portion of the line before it is fully secured.   

On the east side north of Baker Peak the terrain is very rocky and inaccessible from Ant Canyon to Tobias Creek, and water-dropping helicopters and the Bombardier CL-415 (Super Scoopers) are being used to extinguish any active fire. Crews are also removing brush and vegetation along the Whiskey Flat Trail (32E35) to improve a secondary containment line.

On the rest of the fire’s perimeter, crews are extinguishing hotspots within the containment lines and are watching for any burning materials, such as pine cones and logs, that could roll downslope. and start new fires.   

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: High pressure will shift to the east today ahead of a strong cold front.  Thursday into Friday, the cold front will bring a chance of light precipitation, cooler temperatures, and higher humidity.

TULARE COUNTY RESIDENT INFORMATION: Residents requesting information on the status of their property can call the Tulare County Information Hotline at (559) 802-9790. Affected property owners should complete the September Lightning Fire Information Form online at: https://bit.ly/3ETdZjI

EVACUATION ORDERS: The following information is from the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office. Evacuation orders and warnings can change suddenly. Please refer to the Windy Fire Evacuation Warning Map at https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 2-1-1 for the latest information.

  • White River Summer Home Tract, Sugarloaf Saw Mill, Sugarloaf Mountain Park.
  • Mountain Aire and Rogers Camp.
  • Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, west to M107 and M50.
  • The area of McNally’s from Sherman Pass Road to Corral Creek.

EVACUATION WARNINGS:

  • Both sides of the Kern River from the Goldledge Campground south to Riverkern, Tulare County, at the Tulare/Kern border. This warning will include all private properties, businesses, residences, structures, campsites, campgrounds, Forest Service roads, access roads, attached roads, and trails.
  • Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Coy Flat, Pierpoint, Quaking Aspen, Ponderosa, and Sequoia Crest.
  • Sugarloaf Village, Panorama Heights, Poso Park, Idlewild, Pleasant View, Balance Rock, Posey, and Vincent Ranch. The boundaries will be from Sugarloaf Peak west to Buck Peak; south to Vincent Ranch at the Tulare/ Kern County Line; east to Forest Service Road 24S07; and north to Sugarloaf Peak.
  • California Hot Springs and Pine Flat areas. The evacuation order includes M-504 at Tyler Creek, Southeast to Pine Flat, West to M-56 and Fire Control Road, North up Tyler Creek Road. This includes structures, side roads, and all attached roads.

ROAD CLOSURES AND RESTRICTIONS:

  • At Jack Ranch Road and Old Stage Road
  • Quaking Aspen and M107
  • MT56 at Fountain Springs
  • M50 at the Hot Springs Ranger Station for northbound traffic
  • FS Road 23S05
  • M99 at Goldledge campground
  • Sherman Pass Road at Blackrock Ranger Station

EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION ALERTS: Tulare County residents can sign up to receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.

October 6, 2021 at 7:10 AM

For Wednesday, variable ridge top winds in the morning will turn westerly while the typically up-slope/up-valley diurnal wind pattern resumes. Peak gusts of between 15 and 20 mph are expected. Moisture levels will several percentage points higher while temperatures will be several degrees cooler, peaking from the 60s on the mountain tops to 77 the Kern Valley floor.

October 5, 2021 at 10:29 AM

TULARE COUNTY RESIDENT INFORMATION: Residents requesting information on the status of their property can call the Tulare County Information Hotline at (559) 802-9790. Affected property owners should complete the September Lightning Fire Information Form online at: https://bit.ly/3ETdZjI.

CURRENT SITUATION: The Windy Fire is 97,014, acres with 72% containment and is a full suppression fire. The fire is burning on the Tule River Indian Reservation and the Sequoia National Forest, which includes the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The fire increased 2,268 acres in the last 24 hours. The acreage increase is within the established indirect containment lines.

Last night crews completed and secured the containment line on the southern portion of the fire from Baker Peak west to Sugarloaf and to M50 north of California Hot Springs.  Today, two areas remain a priority for securing containment: the northwest side on the Tule River Indian Reservation south to M50 (at the switchbacks) and the east side in the Kern River Canyon from Johnsondale south to Baker Peak.

On the northwest side the fire continues to move slowly west towards the indirect dozer line and handlines that have been completed from M50 northwest to Lone Pine Mountain and to Wheatons on the Tule River Indian Reservation.  Crews are continuing to look for opportunities to directly attack the active fire front. In the rugged and inaccessible drainages, where it is not safe for firefighters to work, crews continue implementing a tactical firing operation to remove vegetation between the indirect containment line and the fire’s edge.

On the east side, north of Baker Peak, five hotshot crews hiked into Ant Canyon through the already burned area to construct hand line and to direct water dropping helicopters and the Bombardier CL-415, (Super Scoopers) in extinguishing hotspots.  Crews will continue today focusing their efforts in Ant Canyon and Tobias Creek as well as removing brush and vegetation along the Whiskey Flat Trail (32E35).

On the rest of the fire’s perimeter, where firefighters are working to extinguish hotspots within the containment lines. The Fire Behavior Specialist instructed crews to be vigilant and watch for any rolling materials such as pine cones and logs that could escape and start new fires.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: Cooler temperatures and higher humidity are expected today. A Pacific storm system is expected to bring much cooler temperatures and a chance of precipitation later this week.

October 4, 2021 at 8:03 AM

Fire is active with high resistance to control. Very poor relative humidity recovery once again promoted increased fire spread in grass and brush fuel types earlier in the day. Fire activity was primarily a function of surface fire, single tree torching, and roll-out due to steep, complex terrain. Transitioning winds enhanced smoke shading to limit growth potential towards the Kern River and south towards Panorama Heights. Slow easterly expansion continued into the well aligned topography adjacent Baker Peak.

For Monday, east to northeast winds over the ridges will veer back to westerly and the nocturnal drainage winds will also reverse to up-slope/ up-valley during the morning. Peak gusts of around 20 mph are forecast for the ridge tops and western slopes. Stronger up-valley gusts of up to 27 mph can be expected along the Kern River. Minimum humidities will be higher, ranging from the mid teens to around 20 percent, and temperatures will be a few degrees cooler.

October 1, 2021 at 9:33 AM

 Early morning observations from the camera at Tobias Peak showed the fire burning actively. While it is October 1st, conditions in the forest are more like what you would observe in August, very dry with warm temperatures and low humidity. These conditions will increase fire behavior today, especially in the chamise and chaparral brush type in the Kern River Canyon.

 The top priority continues to be the southwest side where crews continue to make good progress securing containment lines and providing structure defense around Sugarloaf and Sugarloaf Mountain Park north towards Pine Flat and California Hot Springs. Crews are constructing and improving indirect (away from the fire’s edge) containment lines from M 50 (at the switchbacks) northwest to Lone Pine Mountain and looking for opportunities to construct direct hand line at the fire’s edge.

 On the northwest side, crews continue to construct direct and indirect containment lines from Wheatons south to Lone Pine Mountain on the Tule River Indian Reservation. If conditions permit, crews will continue a tactical firing operation to help improve containment lines. Tactical firing operations allow firefighters to remove vegetation along the indirect containment line which reduces the threat of the fire advancing.On the north side, firefighters continue tactical patrols (extinguishing any burning vegetation, stumps, etc.)  along the Coy Flat Road (FS Road 21S94) northeast to Coy Flat. On the northeast side near Ponderosa, crews continue holding and improving containment lines east to the Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S28) and south to Johnsondale. Crews will continue tactical patrols extinguishing any burning stumps, trees and vegetation.

 On the east and southeast side, crews continue structure defense in the Vincent Meadow area along Sugarloaf Road (23S16).  In the Kern River Canyon, the fire continues to hold on the upper west slope between Tobias Creek and Flynn Canyon. Helicopters and the Bombardier CL-515, (Super Scooper) will continue dropping water and retardant on the upper ridge to slow the fire’s movement east towards the Kern River. Crews will continue structure defense in Fairview.

 On the south side, the fire is burning in the 2016 Cedar Fire burn scar and crews are building direct hand line at the fire’s edge west towards Sugarloaf. Pockets of dead and down trees are burning outside of the containment line and firefighters are working to put line around those spot fires.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: Very dry and warm conditions will prevail through the weekend.  The smoke inversion will disperse in late morning, early afternoon. Winds will be light except in the Kern Canyon which could see gusty afternoon winds.

September 30, 2021 at 11:03 AM

Today at 12 noon, the Evacuation Order for the following areas will be downgrade to an Evacuation Warning: Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Coy Flat, Pierpoint, Quaking Aspen, Ponderosa, and Sequoia Crest.  Residents may return to their homes after showing proof of residence to law enforcement officers. Proper documentation must include the person’s name and address within the impacted area.  At this time, only residents are permitted in the area. Mountain Aire and Rogers Camp will remain under Evacuation Order. All other evacuation orders and warnings will remain in effect.

TULARE COUNTY RESIDENT INFORMATION: 14 homes and 12 outbuildings have been reported destroyed. Residents requesting information on the status of their property can call the Tulare County Information Hotline at (559) 802-9790. Affected property owners should complete the September Lighting Fire Information Form online at: https://bit.ly/3ETdZjI.  Today, Forest Service staff will be out assessing property damage in the White River and Spear Creek Summer Home Tracts on the Sequoia National Forest.

CURRENT SITUATION: The Windy Fire is 88,068, acres with 35% containment and is a full suppression fire. The fire is burning on the Tule River Indian Reservation and the Sequoia National Forest, including the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The fire perimeter increased 315 acres in the last 24 hours.

Another quite night, with minimal activity or growth in the fire’s perimeter. The top priority continues to be the southwest side where crews have made good progress securing containment lines and providing structure defense around Sugarloaf and Sugarloaf Mountain Park north towards Pine Flat and California Hot Springs.  Crews are constructing and improving indirect (away from the fire’s edge) containment lines from Mt Road 50 (at the switchbacks) northwest to Lone Pine Mountain.

On the northwest side, crews continue to construct direct and indirect (away from the active fire) containment lines from Wheatons south to Corral Hill.   If conditions permit, a tactical firing operation will be initiated to help improve containment lines.

On the north side, firefighters continue tactical patrols (extinguishing any burning vegetation, stumps, etc.)  along the Coy Flat Road (FS Road 21S94) northeast to Coy Flat.

On the northeast side near Ponderosa, crews continue holding and improving containment lines east to the Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S28) and south to Johnsondale. Crews will continue tactical patrols extinguishing any burning stumps, trees and vegetation.

On the east and southeast side, Crews continue structure defense along Sugarloaf Road (23S16).  In the Kern River Canyon, the fire has not moved much on the upper west slope between Tobias Creek and Flynn Canyon. Due to the steep, rocky terrain and the difficulty of getting firefighters into the area, Bombardier CL-415s, commonly known as water scoopers, may be used (after the smoke clears) to drop water on the active portions of the fire.

On the south side, the fire has backed into the 2016 Cedar Fire which has slowed the advancing fire front. Small spot fires, burning in pockets of dead and down trees, continue to burn and crews are constructing direct (at the fires edge) and indirect lines (away from the active fire) to contain them.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR:  High pressure will strengthen over the area bringing warmer temperatures, lower humidity and weak diurnal winds. Expect poor smoke dispersion until this afternoon when the inversion should lift.

EVACUATIONS ORDERS: The following information is from the Tulare County Sherriff’s Office.  Evacuation orders and warnings can change suddenly, please refer to https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/  for the Windy Fire Evacuation Warning Area Map. For more information, please call 2-1-1.

  • The communities of Sugarloaf, Sugarloaf Mountain Park, Sugarloaf Saw Mill, White River, Idlewild, Posey, Panorama Heights, Poso, Balance Rock, Spear Creek, from the existing Hot Springs Evacuation Order west to King George Peak, south to County M56, including Oak Flat, Twin Peak, to Vincent Ranch at the Tulare-Kern Counties Border, east to Portuguese Peak, and back north to Dunlap Meadow.
  • California Hot Springs and Pine Flat areas. The evacuation order includes M-504 at Tyler Creek, Southeast to Pine Flat, West to M-56 and Fire Control Road, North up Tyler Creek Road. This includes structures, side roads, and attached roads.
  • Mountain Aire and Rogers Camp.
  • Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, west to M107 and M50.
  • The area of McNally’s from Sherman Pass Road to Corral Creek.

EVACUATION WARNING: Both sides of the Kern River from the Gold Ledge Campground south to Riverkern, Tulare County, at the Tulare/Kern border. This warning will include all private properties, businesses, residences, structures, campsites, campgrounds, Forest Service roads, access roads, attached roads, and trails.

ROAD CLOSURES AND RESTRICTIONS:

At Jack Ranch Road and Old Stage Road Quaking Aspen and M107MT99 at Gold Ledge CampgroundMT56 at Fountain Springs

September 28, 2021 at 7:56 PM

There were no spot fires today along the eastern perimeter from Ponderosa to Johnsondale. Crews extinguished hotspots along the firelines, which held today despite being thoroughly tested by today’s strong winds. South of Johnsondale to Baker Point, the fire continues to move eastward, downslope toward the M99 corridor and the Kern River. Firefighters are scouting the hiking trail along Tobias Creek as a place to stop the fire’s eastward advance. Crews also finished wrapping the Baker Point Lookout.

South of Tobias Peak, the full-suppression strategy involves constructing indirect containment lines because the area is too steep and full of hazardous snags for crews to safely suppress the fire directly. However, on the southwest side of the fire, direct suppression is more feasible. Although indirect lines are constructed, they are there as a backup plan; firefighters are using direct-suppression tactics along much of the southwestern and western perimeter, getting in closer to the fire’s edge to minimize its footprint.

On the northwest side, conditions allowed crews to complete the multi-day firing operation between the Two and a Quarter Road and Wheatons.

Burn Scar – Giant Sequoia. Photo: Mike McMillan – BIA

September 28, 2021 at 10:46 AM

TULARE COUNTY RESIDENT INFORMATION: Today, Tulare County will begin assessing the damage to homes and property in the Sugarloaf and Pine Flat Areas. Community members impacted by the Windy Fire can call the Tulare County Information Hotline at (559) 802-9790. Affected property owners should complete the September Lighting Fire Information Form Online at: https://bit.ly/3ETdZjI. People who have cabins in Summer Home Tracts on the Forest will be contacted by the Sequoia National Forest.

CURRENT SITUATION: The fire perimeter increased 1,935 acres in the last 24 hours.

Yesterday, gusty westerly winds up to 40 miles per hour tested containment lines on the east perimeter. From Ponderosa south to Johnsondale, the containment lines held and no spot fires were observed outside of the perimeter of the fire. On the south and southeast side, the fire remained very active between Baker Peak and Tobias Peak. The fire has burned into the 2016 Cedar Fire scar, which has moderated fire activity. Today, a cold front will move through the area bringing gusty westerly winds up to 40 MPH on the ridgetops and upper slopes. The winds will provide favorable conditions (winds blow the active fire back in to the area already burned) for conducting defensible firing operations on the west side of the fire.

Today, the priority remains on the southwest side in Sugarloaf and Pine Flat areas. Fire engines continue to engage in structure defense and extinguishing hotspots (burning tree stumps, downed logs, etc.) along the dozer and hand lines that extend into California Hot Springs.

On the northwest side, favorable winds will allow crews to continue conducting a defensible firing operation southward toward Wheatons. The firing operation removes vegetation and provides a black line to slow the fires progress westward on the Tule River Indian Reservation. Ground crews will be were supported by water dropping helicopters. Crews also continue to construct indirect (away from the fire edge) dozer lines from Wheatons south to Corral Hill in order to stop the fires progress to the West.

On the north side, crews continue to improve existing containment lines along the Coy Flat Road (FS Road 21S94) northeast to Coy Flat. Their efforts have been successful in keeping the fire south of Camp Nelson. Crews and engines are in place in Camp Nelson and Mountainaire.

On the northeast side near Ponderosa, crews continue holding and improving containment lines from the Western Divide Highway (M50) east to Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S28) and south to Johnsondale. With the increased winds today, firefighters will be looking for any hotspots caused by blowing embers or debris. On the east-southeast side, the fire remains active from Flynn Canyon south to Tobias Peak. Crews continue to work along the Sugarloaf Road (23S1) towards the Spear Creek Summer Home Tract improving fire lines and providing structure defense. The fire is backing down slope east towards the Kern River. The Fire Behavior Specialist briefed firefighters this morning to be on the lookout for increased fire activity in an area below Baker Point that did not burn in either the Cedar or McNally fires. Crews will continue clearing around structures in the Fairview area as the fire moves closer.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: The Incident Meteorologist is forecasting gusty westerly winds on the upper ridges and slopes, up to 40 MPH. Very cool conditions are expected with temperatures in the 50 to 60’s range.

EVACUATIONS ORDERS: The following information is from the Tulare County Sherriff’s Office.

Evacuation orders and warnings can change suddenly, please refer to https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ for Windy Fire Evacuation Warning Area Map. For more information, please call 2-1-1.

  • The communities of Sugarloaf, Sugarloaf Mountain Park, Sugarloaf Saw Mill, White River, Idlewild, Posey, Panorama Heights, Poso, Balance Rock, Spear Creek, from the existing Hot Springs Evacuation Order west to King George Peak, south to County M56, including Oak Flat, Twin Peak, to Vincent Ranch at the Tulare-Kern Counties Border, east to Portuguese Peak, and back north to Dunlap Meadow.
  • California Hot Springs and Pine Flat areas. The evacuation order includes M-504 at Tyler Creek, Southeast to Pine Flat, West to M-56 and Fire Control Road, North up Tyler Creek Road. This includes structures, side roads, and attached roads.
  • Camp Nelson and surrounding communities.
  • Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, west to M107 and M50.
  • Ponderosa and Quaking Aspen. The warning area includes M107 at Dome Rock, north to Highway 190/M90 at North Road (FS Road 21S50), east to Route 21S05, at Needles Trail, south to Lloyd Meadow at Lower Peppermint Road (FS Road 22S82).
  • The areas of McNally’s. From Sherman Pass Road to Corral Creek.

EVACUATION WARNING:

Both sides of the Kern River from the Gold Ledge Campground south to River Kern, Tulare County, at the Tulare/Kern border. This warning will include all private properties, businesses, residences, structures, campsites, campgrounds, Forest Service roads, access roads, attached roads, and trails.

ROAD CLOSURES AND RESTRICTIONS:

  • At Jack Ranch Road and Old Stage Road
  • Highway 190 and Rio Vista
  • MT99 at Gold Ledge Campground
  • MT56 at Fountain Springs

EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION ALERTS: Tulare County residents can sign up to receive county

emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.

EVACUATION CENTER: A evacuation center is in place at Porterville College on 100 E. College Ave.

Older individuals (60+) who need assistance with evacuation may call the senior hotline at 1-800-321-2462. For more information, visit https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 2-1-1.

WINDY FIRE ANIMAL EVACUATION CENTER: Domestic animals and poultry are being accepted at the Tulare County Animal Service Shelter, 14131 Avenue 256, Visalia, CA 93292. Large animals and livestock can be taken to the International Agri-Center, 4500 S Laspina St, Tulare, CA 93274.

September 27, 2021 at 11:46 AM

The Windy Fire is 85,383 acres with 2% containment and is a full suppression fire. The fire is burning on the Tule River Indian Reservation and the Sequoia National Forest, including the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The fire perimeter increased 7,000 acres in the last 24 hours. Yesterday, the most intense fire activity continued to be on the southwest side near Sugarloaf Peak and on the southeast side near Marshall Meadow and Bull Run Meadow. Today, gusty westerly winds are predicted on the ridgetops and upper slopes which will increase fire activity on the southeast side in the Kern River Canyon.

Last night on the southwest side, the fire was active in the Sugarloaf Mountain Park and Pine Flat areas. Fire engines were engaged in structure defense in the area. Crews also continued mopping up hotspots along the dozer and hand lines that extend into California Hot Springs. Today, the Sugarloaf and Pine Flat areas continue to be a priority and crews are providing structure defense, extinguishing hot spots and improving containment lines.

On the southeast side, the fire was very active along Speas Ridge southward towards Tobias Peak. Today gusty winds have the potential to significantly increase fire activity as the fire moves east in the Kern River Canyon. The Fire Behavior Specialist briefed firefighters this morning on the potential for rapid fire growth in the area due to westerly winds and long-range spotting (hot embers that are blown ahead of the active fire). Crews will continue clearing around structures in the Fairview area as the fire moves closer.

On the west side, firefighters continue to construct direct and indirect containment lines utilizing dozers from Lone Pine Mountain north to Wheaton. Crews will be conducting a defensible firing operation, supported by retardant dropping aircraft along the Two and Quarter Road to contain the fire as they move toward Wheaton. On the north side, crews are improving existing containment lines along the Coy Flat Road (FS Road 21S94) northeast to Coy Flat. Crews and engines are in place in Camp Nelson and Mountainaire.

On the northeast side near Ponderosa, crews continue holding and improving containment lines from the Western Divide Highway (M50) east to Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S28). On the east side, along Lloyd Meadow Road, crews continue to strengthen containment line and extinguish any hots spots (burning trees, stumps, etc.) southward to M99.

September 26, 2021 at 7:24 PM

Yesterday, the most intense fire activity was on the southwest side in the Sugarloaf and Pine Flat areas, where it was reported that several homes were damaged. When it is safe, damage assessments of property will be completed.

Last night, firefighters completed a defensible firing operation around Sugarloaf to stop the fire from advancing into the residential area. There are reports of spot fires near the White River Summer Home Tract and crews are working this morning to get containment lines around them. Today, the highest priority continues to be structure protection in California Hot Springs, Sugarloaf and Pine Flat areas.

In the south/southeast side, the fire was very active around Tobias Peak and continues to move east towards the Kern River. Firefighters will be working in the Fairview area clearing around structures. They are also working along the Sugarloaf Road (23S16) and providing structure protection in the Vincent/Tobias Meadow area. Crews are scouting the Tobias Creek Trail for a potential containment line.

On the west side, firefighters continue to construct direct and indirect containment lines utilizing dozers from Lone Pine Mountain north to Wheaton. Crews will be conducting a defensible firing operation, supported by retardant dropping aircraft along the Two and Quarter Road to contain the fire as they move toward Wheaton.

On the north side, crews continue to construct and improve containment lines along the Coy Flat Road (FS Road 21S94) northeast to Coy Flat. Crews and structure protection engines are in place in Camp Nelson and Mountainaire.

On the northeast side near Ponderosa, crews continue holding and improving the containment line from the Western Divide Highway (MT50) east to the Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S28). On the east side, along the Lloyd Meadow Road, crews continue to strengthen the containment line and extinguish any hots spots (burning trees, stumps, etc) south to MT99.

Evacuations and Road Closures:
The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office issues evacuation warnings and orders for areas affected by the Windy Fire. View the current Tulare County evacuation map, read the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office evacuation news releases, or follow Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page to ensure you have the most current information on Windy Fire evacuation warnings and orders.

Emergency Notification Alerts:

Tulare County residents can sign up for AlertTC to receive emergency alert notifications and other time-sensitive messages.

Evacuation Center and Shelter:
A temporary evacuation center has been established at Porterville College, 100 E. College Ave. Individuals needing assistance with evacuations may call the nonemergency phone number 2-1-1. Seniors needing information about or assistance with evacuating should call the Tulare County Senior Assistance and Information Hotline: 800-321-2462. 

Animal-Evacuation Services and Shelters:
If you need assistance evacuating your animals, need a place to house your animals, or if you had to leave animals behind when you evacuated your property, call Tulare County Animal Services (530-636-4050) or fill out an evacuation-assistance form, and someone from Tulare County Animals Services will contact you during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Large animals, including cattle, equines, goats, and sheep, can be sheltered at the International Agri-Center, 4500 S. Laspina, St., Tulare.

Domestic animals, including poultry, can be sheltered at the Tulare County Animal Service’s shelter, 14131 Ave. 256, Visalia. 

Sequoia National Forest Closure:
National Forest System lands, roads, and trails near the Windy Fire are closed. Go to Alerts and Notices on the Sequoia National Forest website to ensure you are viewing the most current closure order and map. Hunting on Sequoia National Forest lands is allowed outside the closure area.

September 24, 2021 at 3:37 PM

Today, California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 (CA IIMT 5) assumed command of the Windy Fire for the Bureau of Indian Affairs on behalf of the Tule River Indian Tribe, the Sequoia National Forest and Tulare County Fire Department.

The fire is burning on the Tule River Indian Reservation and the Sequoia National Forest, including the Giant Sequoia National Monument. On Wednesday, a weather front with increased winds moved through the area, lifting the smoke inversion and causing the fire to rapidly grow around the perimeter. The fire has impacted several giant sequoia groves and specialists are evaluating the giant sequoia trees to determine the impacts.

Last night, the fire was very active on the south and southwest flank on Greenhorn Mountain Ridge and along Sugarloaf Road (FS Road 23S16) . The fire is now ½ to ¾ mile from California Hot Springs. Two spot fires were reported near California Hot Springs on Lion Ridge and above the Forest Service Work Center.

Today, the priority for firefighters will be structure protection in California Hot Springs south towards Pine Flat, Ponderosa and Camp Nelson. A Mandatory Evacuation Order has been issued for California Hot Springs and Pine Flat areas.

Along the westside, on the Tule River Indian Reservation, crews will continue to hold and advance the containment lines, looking for opportunities to build direct (at the fire’s edge) and indirect containment lines to stop the fire’s progress to the west. Crews are looking to use the 2&¼ Road to contain a small slop over across the line.

On the north side, crews will strengthen and improve containment lines down Crawford Road (FS Road 21S94) to Coy Flat. On the northeast side, crews continue to provide structure protection around Ponderosa and look for any potential spot fires. On the east side, along Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S28) , crews will continue to use the road to strengthen containment lines south to the M99 Road. When conditions are favorable, crews will use a defensible firing operation to remove vegetation between the active fire front and east side of the road.

WEATHER AND FIRE BEHAVIOR: Smoky, warm and dry conditions will persist across the fire area. Afternoon temperatures will climb into the upper 70’s to lower 80’s. Humidity will drop into 10 to 20% range today with poor recovery tonight.

EVACUATIONS ORDERS: The following information is from the Tulare County Sherriff’s Office. Evacuation orders and warnings can change suddenly. Please refer to https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ for Windy Fire Evacuation Warning Area Map. Please call 2-1-1 for more information.

• California Hot Springs and Pine Flat areas. The evacuation order includes M-504 at Tyler Creek, Southeast to Pine Flat, West to M-56 and Fire Control Road, North up Tyler Creek Road. This includes structures, side roads, and attached roads

• Camp Nelson and surrounding communities

• Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (FS Road 22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, west to M107 and M50.

• Ponderosa and Quaking Aspen. The warning area includes M107 at Dome Rock, north to Highway 190/M90 at North Road (FS Road 21S50), east to Route 21S05, at Needles Trail, south to Lloyd Meadow at Lower Peppermint Road (FS Road 22S82).

• The areas of McNally’s. From Sherman Pass Road to Corral Creek

EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION ALERTS: Tulare County residents can sign up to receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.

ROAD CLOSURES AND RESTRICTIONS:

• M56 at Tyler Creek Fire Station

• Hwy 190 at Wishon cutoff

• M99 is closed north at Gold Ledge Campground

September 23, 2021 at 12:59 PM

The inversion layer lifted and paired with increased winds, which intensified fire activity and expansion on all fronts. Crews are in place in the threatened communities with structure protection as their top priority.  

The fire has impacted several giant sequoia groves. Yesterday, a resource advisor with fire effects experience on giant sequoias from Yosemite National Park visited the Trail of 100 Giants to assess the giant sequoia trees affected by the fire. The expert will continue to evaluate the condition of the trees.

A new mandatory evacuation order has been given for Camp Nelson and surrounding communities. Existing evacuation orders remain in place. No privately owned structures have been damaged or lost in Camp Nelson, Ponderosa, and the Tule River Indian Reservation. However, the Sequoia National Forest did lose the Mule Peak Lookout and the associated radio repeater.  They were destroyed in the early stages of the fire under extreme burning conditions and strong winds, despite being wrapped with fire-resistant material.

The fire expanded on all fronts yesterday before settling in overnight. The fire is trying to back down toward Camp Nelson, now under a mandatory evacuation order. Firefighting crews are working hard to secure this area, expecting to be aided by the road system, the burn scar of the 2020 Castle Fire, and Coy Flats. In the south, the fire crossed the 50 Road with spot fires to the southwest. Grass and brush should slow fire spread to the east, allowing firefighters to make a direct attack. Fire moved towards Redwood Corral before getting hung up on the road system. Redwood Corral and the Parker Peak Sequoia Grove on the Tule River Indian Reservation remain priorities at the western edge of the fire. 

On the eastern flank, the fire continued to burn actively but no major growth. Crews in that area will monitor the fire’s edge above Peppermint Ranch and US Forest Service Work Center. Protection for Ponderosa remains a priority. Structural protection groups have been deployed to protect the Johnsondale, Ponderosa, and Camp Nelson communities.

Today will see calmer weather conditions and RH (relative humidity) recovery. Temperatures have cooled to 75-80 degrees with 4-8 mph winds from the west/southwest and gusts up to 14 mph.

Tomorrow morning CIIMT 5 will be taking over management of the Windy Fire at 0700 for the Bureau of Indian Affairs on behalf of the Tule River Indian Tribe, the Sequoia National Forest and Tulare County Fire Department

Road Closures  

  • M50 at Tyler Creek (Parker Pass Rd, California Hot Springs Rd.)
  • Hwy 190 at Wishon cutoff.
  • M99 is closed north of McNally’s Fairview Lodge at 7300 Kern River Highway, north towards Sherman Pass.

 Evacuation ORDERS:

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

A temporary evacuation center is in place at Porterville College on 100 E. College Ave. Individuals needing assistance with evacuating may call 2-1-1. Older individuals (60+) who need assistance with evacuation or information may call the senior hotline at 1-800-321-2462. Visit https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 2-1-1 for more information. Large animals can be sheltered at the International Agri-Center, located at 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare, CA.

Sequoia National ForesClosures: Please refer to https://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia for more information and a map of the closed areas.

September 22, 2021 at 12:03 PM

The fire has impacted several giant sequoia groves. Today, a resource advisor with fire effects experience on giant sequoias is here from Yosemite National Park. The advisor will look at the giant sequoia trees affected by the Windy Fire, including the Bench Tree from the Trail of 100 Giants.

Evacuation orders are still in place. No privately owned structures have been damaged or lost. However the Sequoia National Forest did lose the Mule Peak Lookout and the associated radio repeater. They were destroyed in the early stages of the fire under extreme burning conditions and strong winds, despite being wrapped with fire-resistant material.

The fire remained active on the north flank but showed little movement as flames slowly backed through large rock escarpments two miles south of Camp Nelson, which remains under an evacuation warning. Bulldozers and firefighters are constructing direct hand line in this area, utilizing the road system, the burn scar of the 2020 Castle Fire, and Coy Flats. On the southwest flank, crews are working to contain spotfires over containment lines in that area, aided by water and retardant-dropping aircraft as air quality and visibility allows. Firefighters are constructing direct fireline on the fire’s south flank where the fire crossed the Western Divide Highway (M107) and Mountain Road 50 early in the fire. Crews are thinning fuels along these roads in preparation for firing operations to strengthen control lines.

Crews are working along the Trail of 100 Giants, spraying hot spots around the Giant Sequoias and falling several smaller, burned hazard trees in that area. There is no visible smoke in the Bench Tree after water-dropping helicopters doused flames in the top of the Giant Sequoia. On the fire’s east flank, crews are seeking opportunities to build direct fireline where the fire crossed the M107 Road. The fire is showing little movement as it creeps downslope into lighter fuels of grass and brush. Structure protection measures are in place around the Peppermint Work Center and the community of Johnsondale.

Winds today will come from the west/northwest at 6-10 mph with gusts to 20 mph. Fire activity will be moderate under the inversion layer of smoke, but is expected to increase as skies clear later in the day.

September 21, 2021 at 11:00 AM

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

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

Road Closures  

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

Evacuations Warnings:

Tulare County Sheriff has issued an evacuation warning for:

  • Camp Nelson and surrounding communities

Evacuation ORDERS:

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

A temporary evacuation center is in place at Porterville College on 100 E. College Ave. Individuals needing assistance with evacuating may call 2-1-1. Older individuals (60+) who need assistance with evacuation or information may call the senior hotline at 1-800-321-2462.

Visit https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 2-1-1 for more information. Large animals can be sheltered at the International Agri-Center, located at 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare, CA.

Sequoia National Forest officials have expanded the Forest Closure area due to the fire burning across the Western Divide Highway north of Johnsondale. The west side is closed on M50 where it reaches the Forest boundary near California Hot Springs. The southern edge ties in with the northern perimeter of the French Fire closure area near White River. The northern edge ties in with the Castle Fire closure area near Ponderosa.  M99, coming from Kernville is closed near Johnsondale Bridge. Sherman Pass road is closed to Blackrock. Please refer to https://www.fs.usda.gov/sequoia for more information and a map of the closed areas.

September 20, 2021 at 7:39 PM

On Sunday afternoon, a passing cold front brought gusty northwestern winds as firefighters worked to contain the fire’s spread. Minimal fire spread last night will enable firefighters to engage the fire today as the strong winds subside.

The Western Divide Highway (M107) is being impacted by the fire, as are the communities of Peppermint, Quaking Aspen, Camp Whitsitt, and Johnsondale. Firefighters have successfully defended structures in these areas and are also assessing and protecting homes in the Ponderosa area.

The fire has reached the 2020 Castle Fire burn scar on the northern flank, moderating fire growth. Flames are slowly backing down rock escarpments two miles south of Camp Nelson. On the northeast flank, the fire remains two miles south of Ponderosa. Heavy water-dropping helicopters and fire crews are working to contain a two-acre spotfire about a mile south of Johnsondale on the fire’s southeast flank. Steep terrain and limited visibility from smoke prevented the use of fixed-wing air tankers yesterday. On the western flank, crews and bulldozers are completing indirect control lines to stop the fire’s spread in preparation for burning operations.On the eastern flank, the fire is burning in lighter fuels (grass and brush) as flames move within a mile of the Kern River.

Excellent humidity recovery last night and calmer winds predicted for today will give firefighters opportunities to engage the fire where they were previously unable to do so safely.

The Windy Fire has burned through the Peyrone and Red Hill groves, and a portion of the Long Meadow Grove along the Trail of 100 Giants. Fire crews with hoses and water-dropping helicopters are working to limit damage to the Giant Sequoias. Smaller, standing dead trees and heavy ground fuels are burning in that area.

The walking trail remains unaffected and firefighters have wrapped bridges along the trail with fire-resistant wrap. A full damage assessment will be done in these groves when it is safe to do so.

September 19, 2021 at 11:15 AM

The fire grew yesterday afternoon across the Western Divide Highway (M107) and south to Johnsondale, Camp Whitsitt, and towards the Kern River. Fire also burned north reaching the Castle Fire burn scar from last year affecting the communities of Peppermint, Camp Nelson, Ponderosa, and Quaking Aspen.

Firefighters worked around the clock engaged in protecting structures in the affected communities. When possible, firefighting resources continue to go directly along the fire perimeter, strengthening dozer lines and improving the roads to create an opportunity to hold fire.

While cooler temperatures are expected over the fire area, windy conditions will also increase today A RED FLAG WARNING is in place today until 5:00 pm. The terrain is steep, and like most of California, the vegetation is extremely dry. This fire is actively backing downslope with burning logs rolling downhill causing uphill runs. Firefighters are preparing existing roads as fire breaks and working at the fire’s edge when safe. This is a full suppression fire.

The Windy Fire has burned through the Peyrone and Red Hill groves, and a portion of the Long Meadow Grove along the Trail of 100 Giants. The fire reached the edge of and skirted along the Long Meadow Grove. Generally fires can be destructive however low-intensity fires can be beneficial to giant sequoia trees. A damage assessment will be done in these groves when it is safe to do so.

Road Closures  

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

Evacuations Warnings:

Tulare County Sheriff has issued an evacuation warning for:

  • Camp Nelson and surrounding communities

Evacuation ORDERS:

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

The temporary evacuation point, where you may find information and assistance, is at Porterville College, 100 E. College Ave. Individuals who may need assistance evacuating may call 2-1-1. Older individuals (60+) who need assistance with evacuation or information may call the senior hotline at 1-800-321-2462.

Please refer to https://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/ or call 2-1-1 for more information.

Large animals can be sheltered at the International Agri-Center located at 4500 S. Laspina Street, Tulare, CA 93274.

September 19, 2021 at 8:40 AM

The fire started on September 9 due to lighting. Firefighting resources are utilizing full suppression tactics.

On the ground, firefighters are constructing containment lines along the perimeter of the fire. Air operations are continuously monitoring fire conditions and weather, looking for opportunities to fly and support firefighters on the ground with water dropping capabilities.

Smoke will continue to impact the region. Please visit airnow.gov for the most up to date air quality concerns.  An area of low pressure has brought a cooling trend over the fire area. Temperature will return to seasonal averages along with improving relative humidity recovery overnight. Diurnal slope driven winds could give way to gusty afternoon winds from the south/southwest.

The fire burned into a portion of the Peyrone Sequoia Grove while others are threatened. Due to inaccessible terrain, a preliminary assessment of the fire’s effects on giant sequoia trees within the grove will be difficult and may take days to complete.

Tule River Indian Reservation residents and those in and near the communities Camp Nelson and Ponderosa are asked to continue monitoring the progress of this fire. Tulare County residents can receive county emergency notifications by registering at AlertTC.com.

Ground Fire Along SE Flank. Photo: Mike McMillan – BIA

The Tulare County Sheriff has issued an Evacuation Order for the communities of Ponderosa and Quaking Aspen. The area of warning includes M107 at Dome Rock, north to HWY 190/M90 at North Road (MT21S50), east to Route 21S05, at Needles Trail, south to Lloyd Meadow at Lower Peppermint Road (MT22S82).

An evacuation order means an immediate threat to life, safety, and property and all residents and visitors must leave now before the fire reaches the community. If you are unable to evacuate and need immediate assistance, please call 9-1-1. Avoid all road closures and use HWY 190 to Porterville.

A road closure is in effect for M107 from HWY 190/M90 to M50 at Parker Pass. There will be a roadblock at HWY 190 and Redwood – only residents of Cedar Slope will be allowed through with proof of residency.