advertisement

Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name:
  • State:
  • Lead Agency:
  • Size (acres):
  • Percent Contained:
  • Estimate of Containment:
  • Personnel:
  • Structures Destroyed:

Pier, Sequoia NF. Seven miles east of Springville, CA. Timber and brush. Minimal fire behavior. Trail and area closures in effect.

September 23, 2017 at 9:44 AM

The Pier Fire is 98% contained within fireline as of today. Firefighters will continue to extinguish remaining hot spots along the fire perimeter, suppression repair, and removal of fire equipment that is no longer needed.

The public can still expect to see smoke and flame from hot spots well inside the burned area, but those will be extinguished with winter weather. The escape potential is low; perimeter lines will be patrolled by fire personnel as necessary.

September 21, 2017 at 9:51 AM

With wetting rains, firefighters will now focus their attention on suppression repair and removal of fire equipment no longer needed. Most of the dirt roads are unsafe to drive on with fire equipment, some areas may not be accessible unless conditions improve. Expect hot spots to continue to smolder well inside the burned area, but those will be extinguished if showers persist. The escape potential is low; perimeter lines will be patrolled by fire personnel as necessary.

All travelers in the fire area should use extreme caution when driving. Rain showers have increased the potential for hazardous conditions along the roadways. Be aware of potential safety hazards such as falling rocks, mud and debris washed down from steep banks, fire-weakened trees, and heavy equipment along roadways.

Southern California Edison is working to replace infrastructure that was damaged by the fire. Expect traffic delays when traveling along Highway 190. This work is necessary to have power restored to mountain communities.

Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire remain closed under a Forest Closure Order. An updated Closure Order and map are available.

The public, including local residents, are reminded that despite Highway 190 being reopened to access mountain communities, the Forest area and Forest Service roads remain closed due to hazardous conditions from the Pier Fire.

For example, here are some of the more popular locations that are CLOSED for recreation:

Upper and Lower Coffee Camp Day Use Areas
Wishon, Coy Flat, and Belknap Campgrounds
The “Stairs” and all turnouts along Highway 190 below Camp Nelson that access the Tule River.
Fox Farm Road (FS20S03)
Forest road from Coy Flat to Rogers Camp (FS21S94)

As hazards are reduced, some areas may be reopened if conditions allow. The most up-to-date closure information will be posted on Inciweb as conditions change. For current recreational information, please call the Western Divide Ranger District at 559-539-2607 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

September 18, 2017 at 10:44 AM

Weather was favorable over the past few days to allow firefighters to complete the necessary firing operation along the southern perimeter of the fire on the Tule River Indian Reservation.  Over the next few days, work will continue to secure the southern perimeter line, mop up hot spots, and continue efforts on fire suppression repair.

Hand crews will be working to secure that five percent of uncontained line near Pierpoint Springs.  The steep and rugged terrain along the south side of the Tule River makes access nearly impossible.  Efforts will be made to put out remaining hot spots and continue to secure that edge. The majority of active fire will be well within containment lines, residual smoke from this location will be visible to local residents. The escape potential is low.

California Interagency Incident Management Team 5, under the command of Mike Minton, would like to thank cooperators and community members for their support throughout the fire-suppression effort. Today, a local Type 3 team from the Sequoia National Forest and Tule River Indian Reservation assumed command of the Pier Fire.  Numbers of personnel will continue to decrease as full containment is reached.

 Effective at 10 a.m. today, Tulare County officials lifted all evacuation orders for the Pier Fire, Highway 190 is now open to traffic.

Officials lifted all voluntary evacuation orders for communities impacted by the Pier Fire. These include: Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Doyle Springs, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Sequoia Crest and Wishon.

Returning residents should show extreme caution and be aware of potential safety hazards, such as falling rocks and fire-weakened trees, downed broken/burned tree limbs, and heavy equipment along roadways. Residents should also be cautious with smoke inhalation; for a full list of health and safety precautions visit www.tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies.

Southern California Edison has begun to restore power to various areas affected by the Pier Fire. Impacted residents may contact Southern California Edison at (800) 611-1911 for further information.

Residents who experienced long-term power loss are urged to show caution when using their appliances for the first time. Do not consume refrigerated or frozen food stored in appliances that may have lost electricity. Dispose of these item properly.

Area Closures: Sequoia National Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire are closed (Closure Order No. 0513-17-34, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/.

September 17, 2017 at 11:09 AM

Weather was favorable yesterday, supporting the successful firing operation on the ridge above Blue Canyon to the dozer lines east of the 2¼ Road within the Tule River Indian Reservation. The final containment line is now complete between these two points. The majority of active fire will be well within containment lines and residual smoke from this location will be visible to local residents. The escape potential is low, with overall containment at 85 percent.

The spot fire on the east side near Pierpoint Springs is still being monitored by firefighters. Ground fuels continue to burn within contingency lines, removing future potential of ignition.

A portion of Highway 190 between County Road 208 and Pierpoint Springs remains closed. The incident management team and cooperators are aware that it is a burden to residents and travelers; however, the road will remain closed until safer travel is attainable. The current hazards that keep Highway 190 closed are being evaluated daily. Once hazards within our control are mitigated, the road will be opened. Once it is opened, continue to use caution.

Crews continue to identify and cut hazard trees and remove debris from roadways. Firefighters will continue to patrol and mop-up containment lines. Anticipate smoke throughout the interior and perimeter of the fire for an extended period of time due to pockets of unburned vegetation.

Backhauling of excess firehose and equipment is being carried out. Fire engines and heavy equipment are large, slow, and often stop in locations unusual to normal traffic flow. Drive with caution.

Whenever a fire such as this takes place in a community, there are significant effects. One of those effects is the use of constructed fireline. Constructed fireline is when terrain is scraped down to mineral soil by firefighters using hand tools or bulldozers, making a fire break between burned and unburned fuels. When fire suppression is finished, it the practice of the fire service to repair fireline back to its original state. More than 170 miles of roads and fireline surround the Pier Fire. Fifty of those miles have been repaired. There will be a presence of heavy equipment and trailers around the perimeter of this fire over an extended period as repair work continues.

California Interagency Incident Management Team 5, under the command of Mike Minton, would like to thank cooperators and community members for their support throughout the fire-suppression effort. Tomorrow at 6 a.m. the team will transfer command of the Pier Fire to a local Type 3 team from the Sequoia National Forest and the Tule River Indian Reservation. The incident command post will remain at Porterville Fairgrounds.

Weather: Mostly sunny with the highs between 75-84 below 3,000 feet and between 65-74 in higher elevations. Minimum relative humidity will be between 25-35% below 3,000 feet and 42-52% above 3,000 feet. Downslope winds will be between 1-4 mph through 8 a.m., becoming upslope/upcanyon at 3-6 mph with gusts up to 12 mph after 12 p.m. Ridgetop winds west to northwest at 3-6 mph.

Evacuations: The following communities remain under voluntary evacuation: Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Doyle Springs, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Sequoia Crest, and Wishon. Returning residents MUST show proof of residency to posted law enforcement to gain access. Examples of accepted documentation are as follows: driver’s license with residency address, utility bill with name and residency address, or PO Box documentation from the U.S. Post Office.

Area Closures: Sequoia National Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire are closed (Closure Order No. 0513-17-34, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/. CAL FIRE has closed Mountain Home State Forest, and Tulare County has closed Balch Park. All areas are closed until the fire is brought under control. Suppression repair work will take additional time after the fire is contained; recreationalists should plan ahead.

Road Closures:

  • Highway 190 is closed to ALL public between County Road 208 and Pierpoint Springs, no exceptions.
  • Highway 190 between Upper Rio Vista Road and County Road 208 is a hard closure for nonresidents and a soft closure for residents with photo ID and proof of residency.
  • Highway 190 between Pierpoint Springs and Ponderosa is a hard closure for nonresidents and a soft closure for residents with photo ID and proof of residency.
  • Residence returning to Doyle Springs and Wishon are able to access 190 at Upper Rio Vista and continue along County Road 208. All other residents must use the Western Divide Highway through Ponderosa to access the area.

September 14, 2017 at 7:51 AM

Announcement: Officials Downgrade Evacuation Orders for Communities Impacted by the Pier Fire
Effective 6:00 pm today, September 14, 2017, officials will downgrade evacuation orders from mandatory to voluntary for the following communities: Alpine Village, Camp Nelson, Cedar Slope, Doyle Springs, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Sequoia Crest and Wishon. Please see the details at the top of this page under “Announcement”

Fire Summary:

Firing operations were again delayed due to recent thunderstorm activity that brought erratic winds and brief showers to some areas of the fire. Despite weather conditions, firefighters were able to hold the fire within the current perimeter. Crews continue to identify and address hazard trees and debris in Rogers Camp, Mountain Aire, as well as between Mahogany Flat and Pierpoint Springs on Highway 190.

Fire suppression repair is ongoing along dozer lines on the northern perimeter of the fire. Crews continue to mop-up and patrol fireline on the eastern edge near Camp Nelson. The 6 acre spot fire near Pierpoint Springs on the south side of Highway 190 has grown to 30 acres but is in an area that is inaccessible. Firefighters are monitoring this spot fire and planning a way to secure it to existing dozer lines, which may include additional firing when weather conditions are favorable.

Firefighters will continue to patrol and mop-up containment line along Forest Road 21S94 between Coy Flat Campground and Rogers Camp. Hazards along the roadway will be addressed today to prepare for residents gaining access to their cabins.

Firefighters will continue firing operations along the 2¼ Road south toward Pine Flat Road and south of Cow Mountain Road on the Tule River Indian Reservation when conditions allow. Smoke and fire may be visible from firing operations once they commence, as well as from interior pockets of vegetation.

Evacuations: See announcement above regarding a change in evacuations

Area Closures: Sequoia National Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire are closed (Closure Order No. 0513-17-34, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/. CAL FIRE has closed Mountain Home State Forest, and Tulare County has closed Balch Park. All areas are closed until the fire is brought under control. Suppression repair work will take additional time after the fire is contained; recreationists should plan ahead.

Hard Road Closures: The following roads are closed to all traffic:

Highway 190 east of Springville is closed at Upper Rio Vista Road to eastbound traffic.

Highway 190 north of Ponderosa is closed at Forest Road 21S50 to westbound traffic.

Smoke:

Daily updated information for the levels of smoke in communities affected by the Pier Fire can be found on the link on the right side of this page.

People with respiratory conditions, young children, and elderly people may be susceptible to adverse effects. Air District officials urge residents to follow their doctor’s advice. For more information, seehttps://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html or http://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm

September 13, 2017 at 10:16 AM

Firing operations were delayed due to recent thunderstorm activity that brought erratic winds and brief showers to some areas of the fire. Despite weather conditions, firefighters were able to hold the fire within the current perimeter.  Crews continue to identify and address hazard trees and debris in Rogers Camp, Mountain Aire, as well as between Mahogany Flat and Pierpoint Springs on Highway 190.

Fire suppression repair continues along dozer lines on the northern perimeter of the fire. Crews continue to mop-up and patrol fireline on the eastern edge near Camp Nelson. The 6 acre spot fire near Pierpoint Springs on the south side of Highway 190 is being monitored and crews are making progress utilizing existing dozer lines to secure it.

Firefighters will continue to patrol and mop-up containment line along Forest Road 21S94 between Coy Flat Campground and Rogers Camp. Anticipate increased smoke on the eastern perimeter of the fire due to interior pockets of vegetation burning.

Firefighters will continue firing operations along the 2¼ Road south toward Pine Flat Road on the Tule River Indian Reservation when conditions allow.  Smoke and fire may be visible from firing operations once they commence, as well as from interior pockets of vegetation.

Weather: A low pressure system will move across Central California today and move east of the area tonight.  This will allow winds aloft to turn from the southeast to the northwest in a northerly direction through tonight. Temperatures will trend down with relative humidity trending up.  Winds will remain mainly terrain driven. Temperatures will be 85 to 90 degrees below 3,000 feet, relative humidity will range from 30 to 35 %. Winds will be out of the southeast from 3-6 mph.

Evacuations: Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. There are currently no voluntary evacuations. Mandatory evacuations are issued when the fire poses an imminent threat to life and property. The following communities are under mandatory evacuation: Sequoia Crest, Mountain Aire, Roger’s Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Cedar Slope, Camp Nelson, Doyle Springs, Alpine Village and Wishon.

 Area Closures: Sequoia National Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire are closed (Closure Order No. 0513-17-34, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/. CAL FIRE has closed Mountain Home State Forest, and Tulare County has closed Balch Park. All areas are closed until the fire is brought under control. Suppression repair work will take additional time after the fire is contained; recreationalists should plan ahead.

Hard Road Closures: The following roads are closed to all traffic:

  • Highway 190 east of Springville is closed at Upper Rio Vista Road to eastbound traffic.
  • Highway 190 north of Ponderosa is closed at Forest Road 21S50 to westbound traffic.

Smoke:

September 12, 2017 at 10:14 AM

Firefighters continued to make good progress yesterday and into the evening. Fire suppression repair continues along dozer lines on the northern perimeter of the fire. Crews continued to mop-up and patrol fireline on the eastern edge near Camp Nelson. There was a small spot fire—approximately 6 acres—near Pierpoint Springs on the south side of Highway 190. The spot fire was contained using helicopters and hand crews. The spot will be monitored and mopped-up today to ensure it remains contained.

Firefighters will continue to patrol and mop-up containment line along Forest Road 21S94 between Coy Flat Campground and Rogers Camp. On the eastern perimeter of the fire there may be increased smoke due to interior pockets of vegetation burning.

Firing operations will continue today along the 2¼ Road south toward Pine Flat Road on the Tule River Indian Reservation. Firefighters will also be conducting a firing operation along Cow Mountain Road. Smoke and fire will likely be visible within containment lines as interior pockets of vegetation continue to burn. The rain that fell on the fire last night was concentrated primarily on the eastern edge of the fire, and didn’t hamper any burning operations on the southern edge.

Weather: A low pressure system will move northward today along the coast and then move inland across Central California on Wednesday. A south to southwest flow aloft will allow for one more day of a thunderstorm threat however the greatest threat will remain east of the fire on Tuesday. Temperatures will be 85 to 90 degrees below 3,000 feet, relative humidity will range from 30 to 35 %. Winds will be out of the southeast from 3-6 mph.

Evacuations: Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. There are currently no voluntary evacuations. Mandatory evacuations are issued when the fire poses an imminent threat to life and property. The following communities are under mandatory evacuation: Sequoia Crest, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Cedar Slope, Camp Nelson, Doyle Springs, Alpine Village and Wishon.

Area Closures: Sequoia National Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire are closed (Closure Order No. 0513-17-34, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/. CAL FIRE has closed Mountain Home State Forest, and Tulare County has closed Balch Park. All areas are closed until the fire is brought under control. Suppression repair work will take additional time after the fire is contained; recreationists should plan ahead.

Hard Road Closures: The following roads are closed to all traffic:

· Cow Mountain Road at its intersection with Rio Vista Road.

· Highway 190 east of Springville is closed at Upper Rio Vista Road to eastbound traffic.

· Highway 190 north of Ponderosa is closed at Forest Road 21S50 to westbound traffic.

September 11, 2017 at 8:41 AM

Today firefighters continued to make good progress. Firefighters mopped up and patrolled areas on the east and northern edge of the fire. The areas near Sequoia Crest were patrolled and monitored for hot spots. Firefighters will continue firing operations from the northeast boundary of the Tule River Indian Reservation southwest to the 2 1/4 Road toward the Pine Flat area.

Firefighters will continue to hold and secure the fireline along the 21S94 Rd. from Roger’s Camp to Coy Flat Campground. Firing operations will also continue north along hand and dozer lines toward Highway 190 west of Pierpoint Springs. These firing operations will bring increased smoke into the general area in and around the fire’s perimeter. Approximately 1,400 firefighters are working in the field, directly suppressing the fire, protecting structures, and establishing containment.

Last night’s public meeting was livestreamed on Facebook, watch the meeting on TC Facebook filmed by Tulare County Fire Department.

Watch a video on the SQF facebook page of Operations Chief Keith Gurrola as he describes the strategy for continuing firing operations near Camp Nelson and on the Tule River Indian Reservation.

September 9, 2017 at 11:59 AM

This evening, September 9, starting at 6 pm there will be a community meeting at the Porterville College Student Center to update the public on the Pier Fire status, evacuations and road closures.

Fire Summary: Last night firefighters again made good progress along the fire’s perimeter. Crews patrolled and mopped up along the containment line on the western and northern portions of the fire. Additional firing operations from Rogers Camp towards Coy Flat increased and widened the perimeter line to keep fire from moving past it. Additional reinforcement and firing will continue today in those areas.

Firefighters will continue to prepare and improve line on the south edge of the fire on the Tule River Indian Reservation in preparation for a firing operation.

Fire suppression repair (impacts directly caused by firefighting efforts or activity) will begin today on the western and northern portions of the fire.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Low pressure will remain off the California coast over the next couple days. Winds will turn from southwest to a southeast direction over the weekend bringing monsoonal moisture into the fire area for a return threat of thunderstorms. Today’s maximum temperatures 85-92 below 3000 feet, 73-83 at higher elevations. Minimum humidity 23-29% below 3000 feet, 35-40 % at higher elevations. Winds will generally be upslope 3-6 mph. Gusting to around 15 mph after 1200. Surrounding ridges will see southeast to southwest winds 4-7 mph.

Evacuations: Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. Mandatory evacuations are issued when the fire poses an imminent threat to life and property. There are currently no voluntary evacuations.

· Mandatory: Sequoia Crest, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Cedar Slope, Camp Nelson, Doyle Springs, Alpine Village, Wishon

Evacuation Center: As of 8 pm last evening the Red Cross shelter in Porterville was closed, there were no longer any evacuees that were sheltered at that location.

September 8, 2017 at 7:56 AM

Another day of favorable weather assisted firefighters as they were able to make good progress along the perimeter of the fire. Along the area of Upper Rio Vista to Sequoia Crest the containment lines held and will be mopped up throughout the evening and then placed in patrol status. Crews began firing operations on the east side of the fire near Alpine Village and Pierpoint Springs today, but erratic winds halted the operation.

At 5:30 pm when favorable wind conditions returned the firing operation was restarted and will continue into the night as long as favorable conditions exist. Crews will also be conducting firing operations tonight along the southeast edge of the fire from Rogers Camp down to the 21S94 road. The fireline from Solo Peak to Black Mountain in the Tule River Indian Reservation will be patrolled through the night. The southwestern edge of the fire is contained and will be in patrol status.

Night flying helicopter 531 will assist firefighters along the eastern edge of the fire to support ground operations in the communities of; Alpine Village, Pierpoint Springs, Rogers Camp and Mountain Aire.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Skies will be clear with no clouds aloft. Temperatures will be in the mid-60s with the relative humidly in the mid-50s. Winds will be out of the southwest at 3-6 mph. There will be down slope winds which will lower visibility in the canyons due to smoke.

Evacuations: Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. A voluntary evacuation means residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so, should fire conditions worsen. Mandatory evacuations are issued when the fire poses an imminent threat to life and property.

Mandatory: Sequoia Crest, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Cedar Slope, Camp Nelson, Doyle Springs, Alpine Village, Wishon

Voluntary: Upper Rio Vista, Cow Mountain (Springville area)

Evacuation Center: Porterville College Student Center, 100 E. College Ave., Porterville. Call 661-324-6427 (weekdays) or 800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

September 7, 2017 at 8:31 AM

Fire activity was moderate yesterday. The most active part of the fire was the southeast corner near Mountain Aire and Rogers Camp, although the fire did not grow significantly. The fire is east of Bateman Ridge down in the Wilson Creek drainage. The fire perimeter and control lines around Sequoia Crest and Wishon are holding.

Fire managers feel confident that the lines will hold the fire west and south of those communities. On the northwest side of the fire, crews hiked in to mop up firelines. Some portions of the fire’s edge are inaccessible by ground crews. Aerial observers will monitor them for several days.

Around three o’clock yesterday afternoon, firefighters initiated firing operations on the southwest side near Upper Rio Vista, working southward toward Cow Mountain. Most of the smoke and increase in acreage today was due to this successful firing operation.

As a result, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office downgraded the evacuation status of Springville and the surrounding communities (see below). Fire crews will be patrolling and monitoring the firelines tonight.

Evacuations (modified): Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. A voluntary evacuation means residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so, should fire conditions worsen. Mandatory evacuations are issued when the fire poses an imminent threat to life and property.

Mandatory: Sequoia Crest, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Cedar Slope, Camp Nelson, Doyle Springs, Alpine Village, Wishon

Voluntary: Upper Rio Vista, Cow Mountain (Springville area)

Evacuation Center: Porterville College Student Center, 100 E. College Ave., Porterville. Call 661-324-6427 (weekdays) or 800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

September 6, 2017 at 8:38 PM

It was a productive day on the northwestern side of the fire south of Bear Creek Road where crews mopped up firelines. Near Wishon, on the fire’s north side, firefighters continued to improve direct fireline along the Fox Farm Road (FR 20S03). The fire west of Sequoia Crest was held and is not significantly active. Crews continue to patrol dozer lines and firelines between Sequoia Crest and Alpine Village, immediately extinguishing hot spots as they find them.

The operational priority for crews today was the fire’s east side which was the most active area of the fire from Alpine Village to Rogers Camp. Efforts to complete the dozer line were hampered by increased fire behavior. Fire managers are planning a safer location to establish as contingency lines, then fire out unburned fuel between it and the main fire when conditions allow. Air tankers were utilized today to cool the edge, but it was still to hot to place personnel on the ground in this decadent brush.

In the Tule River Indian Reservation firefighters used existing roads as contingency lines to limit the fire’s spread southward. On the southwest side of the fire, ground crews began conducting firing operations in the grass and oak woodlands east of Springville. They ignited vegetation using drip torches and aerial ignition (http://bit.ly/2f3giXd). Residents will continue to observe flames and smoke looking up at Black Mountain as a result until the main fire is tied into contingency lines. The firing operation is being done in such a way to limit fire intensity, a strategy that was well planned over the past few days.

Evacuations: Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: mandatory and voluntary. Mandatory evacuations are issued when the fire poses an imminent threat to life and property. Voluntary evacuations means residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so should fire conditions worsen.

Mandatory: Upper Rio Vista, Cow Mountain (Springville area), Sequoia Crest, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Cedar Slope, Camp Nelson, Doyle Springs, Alpine Village, Wishon

Voluntary: Springville, Residences along Balch Park Road (County J37) north of Highway 190 to Bear Creek Road, Bear Creek Road (County 220) east of Balch Park Road, SCICON, Mountain Home Conservation Camp.

September 6, 2017 at 10:40 AM

A combination of light winds, high overnight humidity, and several days of direct fire-suppression accomplishments have resulted in reduced fire activity and minimal perimeter growth in many places. On the northwestern side of the fire south of Bear Creek Road, crews mopped up firelines. Near Wishon, on the fire’s north side, firefighters completed constructing direct fireline along the Fox Farm Road (FR 20S03). The fire west of Sequoia Crest is not significantly active. Crews continue to patrol dozer lines and firelines between Sequoia Crest and Alpine Village, immediately extinguishing hot spots as they find them.

The operational priority for crews today is the fire’s east side—which is the most active area of the fire—from Alpine Village to Rogers Camp. They are constructing dozer line and handline to create a continuous fireline to keep the fire west of Camp Nelson. If weather conditions permit, firefighters will conduct firing operations along the contingency line to create a buffer between unburned vegetation and the main fire, which is approximately a half mile west.

In the Tule River Indian Reservation firefighters are using existing roads as contingency lines to limit the fire’s spread southward. On the southwest side of the fire, ground crews will conduct firing operations in the grass and oak woodlands east of Springville. They will ignite vegetation using drip torches and aerial ignition (http://bit.ly/2f3giXd). Residents could observe abundant smoke as a result.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Today will be cooler, more humid, and less windy than the past several days. The maximum temperature will be in 80s. The minimum relative humidity in the 30- to 40-percent range. South winds will be less than 5 mph. Thunderstorms could develop but are likely to be east of the fire area. The incident’s fire behavior analyst says that the air over the fire today will be stagnant. As a result, smoke will linger, reducing fire behavior. Firing operations could be hampered with higher relative humidity and the shading effects of smoke. However, the main fire spread is expected to be minimal today.

September 6, 2017 at 9:33 AM

Progress continues to be made on the west side of the fire north of Springville. Additional containment was accomplished along the fires perimeter east of Balch Park Road and should continue north towards Wishon Campground. Fire crews held the fire south of the control lines along Fox Farm Road between Wishon Campground and Sequoia Crest. They continue efforts to improve fireline and extinguish hot spots in and near the community of Sequoia Crest. No structures have burned, even though the fires edge is within that community.

Concerns today is the fires edge south of Sequoia Crest to Highway 190, and further south towards Rogers Camp. Crews have prepped contingency lines and will fire out sections of unburned fuel between the active fires edge and contingency lines as weather and burning conditions allow. This will help to tie in those contingency lines to the main fireline and help secure that edge along Bateman Ridge.

Work on the southern edge of the fire, near the Tule River Indian Reservation and Rio Vista, will include firing out unburned fuel between the active fires edge and contingency lines. Contingency lines are typically roads, areas with minimal fuel, constructed hand and dozer lines, and places where natural barriers will help stop the spread of the fire. Ultimately, the fires edge will be capable of stopping the fires spread once it reaches it. As the edge of the fire cools, and fire crews extinguish hot spots, additional containment will be achieved.

September 5, 2017 at 10:34 AM

Residents affected by the Pier Fire are encouraged to attend a community meeting today at 6 p.m. at Porterville College Student Center, 100 E. College Ave., Porterville.

Fire Summary: On the western portion of the fire last night, south of SCICON and east of Balch Park Road, firefighters continued to construct direct line along the fire’s edge. On the northern side of the fire near Wishon Campground, the fire is backing downslope toward the North Fork and Middle Fork of the Tule River. The twenty-acre spot fire near Sequoia Crest has been successfully lined and secured. Near Mountain Aire and Rodgers Camp, night-shift crews protected houses as the fire reached Bateman Ridge. The southern and southwestern sides of the fire were not very active last night. Crews improved and reinforced dozer lines between Rio Vista and Cow Mountain and are planning to conduct firing operations today if weather conditions are favorable.

Weather: A low pressure system off the California coast, in combination with high pressure over the Great Basin, will keep a southeast flow of moist air over the fire area through today. On Wednesday and Thursday, the low pressure system will move north, which will result in drier air and a reduced threat of thunderstorms. Temperatures and relative humidity trends show little day-to-day change. Winds will be mainly terrain influenced; however; if thunderstorms form, winds could become erratic and gusty.

Evacuations: Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. A voluntary evacuation means residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so, should fire conditions worsen. Mandatory evacuations are issued when the fire poses an imminent threat to life and property.

· Mandatory: Residences along Balch Park Road (County J37) north of Highway 190 to Bear Creek Road; Bear Creek Road (County 220) east of Balch Park Road; SCICON; Mountain Home Conservation Camp; Upper Rio Vista; Cow Mountain (Springville area); Sequoia Crest; Mountain Aire; Rogers Camp; Pierpoint Springs; Cedar Slope; Camp Nelson; Doyle Springs; Alpine Village; Wishon

· Voluntary: Springville, Ponderosa

Evacuation Center: Porterville Community College Student Center, 100 E. College Ave., Porterville. Call 661-324-6427 (weekdays) or 800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Area Closures: Sequoia National Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire are closed (Closure Order No. 0513-17-34, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/. CALFIRE has closed Mountain Home State Forest, and Tulare County has closed Balch Park. All areas are closed until the fire is brought under control. Suppression repair work will take additional time after the fire is contained, recreationists should plan ahead.

Hard Road Closures: The following roads are closed to all traffic:

· Highway 190 east of Springville is closed at Balch Park Road to eastbound traffic.

· Highway 190 north of Ponderosa is closed at Forest Road 21S50 to westbound traffic.

· Balch Park Road is closed at Highway 190 to northbound traffic.

· Bear Creek Road is closed at Balch Park Road to eastbound traffic.

Soft Road Closures: The following roads are open only to residents with a photo ID:

· Balch Park Road (County Road J37) at its junction with Yokohl Valley Road.

September 4, 2017 at 8:47 AM

Minimal growth was seen on the fire last night. Rain affected some parts of the fire, while other portions received none. Burning operations on the west side of the fire were halted, and the cool weather is giving crews an opportunity to go direct in the Balch Park road area starting this morning. Firefighters continue to secure spot fires in the Sequoia Crest area and improve fireline construction down towards highway 190. Dozers have been reallocated from areas around the fire to facilitate completion of line from Rogers Camp down to Camp Nelson and improve lines from Rogers Camp onto the Tule River Indian Reservation. Firefighters will continue to look for favorable conditions to complete planned burning operations throughout the day. Power companies will also continue to replace power poles and repair infrastructure damaged by the fire.

Weather: Higher relative humidity and lower temperatures are forecast for today as the movement of monsoon moisture comes into the area. This will be temporary as an expected regional high pressure will begin to develop over the next several days.

Injuries: 3 minor injuries

Smoke: Information for the levels of smoke in communities affected by the Pier Fire;
https://californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com/

People with respiratory conditions, young children, and elderly people may be susceptible to adverse effects. Air District officials urge residents to follow their doctor’s advice. For more information, see https://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html or http://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm.

September 3, 2017 at 9:33 PM

Fire continued to burn actively through the day, primarily on the south side of the fire. On the east side of the fire crews continued to contain a thirty-acre spot assisted by retardant drops and helicopter bucket drops. Crews continued to construct and improve dozerline and handline in the Balch Park area to protect structures near the northwest side of the fire.

Weather- A strong high-pressure system over the Great Basin combined with a low pressure off the southwest California coast will keep a persistent southeast moist flow moving over the fire area tonight through Tuesday. Thunderstorm chances will continue over the next several days mainly during the afternoon and evening hours. Temperatures will trend lower especially Monday with a slow warming trend through the upcoming week. Relative humidity will show little day to day change.

September 3, 2017 at 7:46 PM

A full suppression strategy is to be implemented on the Pier Fire. Values at risk associated with the incident include human safety, private property, and associated improvements, electrical power infrastructure, Giant Sequoia groves, and cultural values. Minimize acres burned on privately owned and tribal lands. Apply tactics on public lands that offer the highest probability of success.

Buildings and equipment belonging to Southern California Edison were determined to have been destroyed. These include a Valve house above the Tule Power House, 6 distribution poles and associated equipment. A Transmission structure on the Tule-Springville 70kV transmission line also carrying the SCE Soda 12kV distribution line. Loss of this equipment affected both SoCal Edison and PG&E power transmission infrastructure.

September 3, 2017 at 9:47 AM

Fire continued to burns actively through the night, primarily on the south side of the fire, growing approximately 4,000 acres. Different from the previous nights the fire was mainly driven by dry fuels and not strong down canyon winds. On the east side of the fire crews continued to contain a thirty-acre spot through the night. An additional spot was also discovered in the area of Redwood drive near Sequoia Crest, while over the containment lines the spot fire is surrounded by roads with no threat to structures. At this time no structures have been impacted, and crews continue to work diligently to improve and construct containment lines around the fire. Crews had success in the Balch Park area with construction of a dozer line and a burn operation to help contain the fire and protect structures near the northwest of the fire.

Weather- A strong high pressure over the Great Basin combined with a low pressure off the southwest California coast will keep a persistent southeast moist flow moving over the fire area for the next few days. By late today tropical moisture will push into the region with shading, cooler temperatures and increasing humidity.

Evacuations: Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. A voluntary evacuation means residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so should fire conditions worsen. Mandatory evacuations are issued when the fire poses an imminent threat to life and property.

· Mandatory: Residences along Balch Park Road (County J37) north of Highway 190 to Bear Creek Road, Bear Creek Road (County 220) east of Balch Park Road, Scicon, Mountain Home Conservation Camp

· Mandatory: Upper Rio Vista, Cow Mountain (Springville area), Sequoia Crest, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Cedar Slope, Camp Nelson, Doyle Springs, Alpine Village, Wishon

· Voluntary: Springville, Ponderosa

Evacuation Center: Porterville College Student Center, 100 E. College Ave., Porterville. Call 661-324-6427 (weekdays) or 800-REDCROSS.

Area Closures: Today, the Sequoia National Forest issued Closure Order No. 0513-17-34 (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/). Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire are closed until the fire is declared out. CAL FIRE has closed Mountain Home State Forest and Tulare County has closed Balch Park. Both are closed until the fire is brought under control.

Hard Road Closures: The following roads are closed to all traffic:

· Highway 190 east of Springville is closed south of Balch Park Road.

· Highway 190 north of Ponderosa is closed at Forest Road 21S50.

· Balch Park Road is closed at Bear Creek Road.

Soft Road Closures: The following roads are open only to residents with a photo ID:

· Balch Park Road (County Road J37) at its junction with Yokhol Valley Road.

September 2, 2017 at 8:29 PM

The fire did not grow significantly today. Heavy smoke over the fire area had a shading effect, moderating fire behavior. On the fire’s west side, the application of retardant in grass and oak woodlands was very effective, often putting the fire out as it met the retardant line. Crews installed a mobile retardant plant on Highway 190 just east of Balch Park Road. It reduces flight time, allowing a faster turnaround for helicopters assisting ground crews. The spot fire north of Highway 190 that spread rapidly toward Bear Creek Road last night did not advance significantly today. On the northeast side of the fire, wind created challenges for firefighters in the Sequoia Crest area. The fire spotted across the control line near Forest Road 20S08, growing to about 20–30 acres. Crews are working into the night to encapsulate the spot fire, having had received assistance from dozers and helicopters this evening. The southeast side of the fire has not advanced markedly and remains approximately two miles west of Camp Nelson. In the Tulu River Indian Reservation, the fire backed downslope into Rocky Creek, where it is unsafe for firefighters to access. Instead, they will use existing roads and previously constructed dozer lines away from the fire as indirect firelines.

Evacuations: Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. A voluntary evacuation means residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so should fire conditions worsen. Mandatory evacuations are issued when the fire poses an imminent threat to life and property.

  • Mandatory (new today): Residences along Balch Park Road (County J37) north of Highway 190 to Bear Creek Road, Bear Creek Road (County 220) east of Balch Park Road, Scicon, Mountain Home Conservation Camp
  • Mandatory: Upper Rio Vista, Cow Mountain (Springville area), Sequoia Crest, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Cedar Slope, Camp Nelson, Doyle Springs, Alpine Village, Wishon
  • Voluntary: Springville, Ponderosa

 Evacuation Center: Porterville College Student Center, 100 E. College Ave., Porterville. Call 661-324-6427 (weekdays) or 800-REDCROSS.

Area Closures: Today, the Sequoia National Forest issued Closure Order No. 0513-17-34 (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/). Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire are closed until the fire is declared out. CAL FIRE has closed Mountain Home State Forest and Tulare County has closed Balch Park. Both are closed until the fire is brought under control.

Hard Road Closures: The following roads are closed to all traffic:

  • Highway 190 east of Springville is closed south of Balch Park Road.
  • Highway 190 north of Ponderosa is closed at Forest Road 21S50.
  • Balch Park Road is closed at Bear Creek Road.

Soft Road Closures: The following roads are open only to residents with a photo ID:

  • Balch Park Road (County Road J37) at its junction with Yokhol Valley Road.

September 2, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The fire reached the DPA boundary on the western flank and TUU CalFire entered into Unified Command. Poor overnight humidity recovery and downslope winds again promoted active fire behavior. Moderate intensity surface fire and short, rapid upslope runs were observed. Spotting generated from rollout remained problematic along steep terrain.

A full suppression strategy is to be implemented on the Pier Fire. Values at risk associated with the incident include human safety, private property, and associated improvements, electrical power infrastructure, Giant Sequoia groves, and cultural values. Minimize acres burned on privately owned and tribal lands. Apply tactics on public lands that offer the highest probability of success.

Mandatory Evacuation orders have been issued by the Tulare County Sheriff for the following communities: Upper Rio Vista, Alpine Village, Doyle Springs, Cedar Slope, Camp Nelson, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Sequoia Crest, Pier Point Springs and Wishon. A Voluntary Evacuation Order has been issued for the communities of Ponderosa and Springville. An evacuation center for displaced persons has been established at Porterville College

September 1, 2017 at 10:06 AM

Yesterday the fire continued to burn intensely in areas of the southwest Tule River drainage. Still, no major growth occurred on any portion of the fire. Most growth occurred on the fire’s west side in the Tule River drainage west of the Wishon drainage. On the northwest side, the fire continued to spread downslope toward the Wishon Road but did not spot across the road. On the northeast side of the fire, near the community of Sequoia Crest, crews protected structures and constructed contingency firelines away from the fire’s edge in anticipation of the fire advancing northeast. On the east side, near Camp Nelson exhibited minimal fire growth. The fire moved primarily west and south toward the Tule River Indian Reservation.

At last evening’s operational briefing, fire managers clearly identified the objective: fully suppress the fire by constructing mainly indirect (i.e., away from the fire’s edge) fireline. The steep, rocky terrain, thick in places with vegetation that has not experienced fire in nearly 100 years, poses a threat to firefighters attempting to construct fireline directly at the fire’s edge. Priorities are to protect threatened residences, to keep the fire south of Mountain Home State Forest, and to protect the Giant-Sequoia groves. Last night, crews were positioned to protect structures and values at risk on all sides of the fire.

August 31, 2017 at 9:34 AM

Fire activity moderated significantly last night—growing less than 100 acres. Most growth occurred on the fire’s west side in the Tule River drainage west of the Wishon drainage. On the northwest side, the fire also spread downslope toward the Wishon Road but did not spot across the road. On the northeast side of the fire, near the community of Sequoia Crest, crews protected structures and constructed contingency firelines away from the fire’s edge in anticipating of the fire advancing northeast. On the east side, near Camp Nelson, the fire moved primarily west and south toward the Tule Indian Reservation.

At this morning’s operational briefing, fire managers clearly identified the objective: fully suppress the fire by constructing mainly indirect (i.e., away from the fire’s edge) fireline. The steep, rocky terrain, thick in places with vegetation that has not experienced fire in nearly 100 years, poses a threat to firefighters attempting to contruct fireline directly at the fire’s edge. Priorities are to protect threatened residences, to keep the fire south of Mountain Home State Forest, and to protect the sequoia groves. Today, hand crews, heavy equipment operators, and structure-protection engines and firefighters will work on all sides of the fire. If needed, they will get assistance from 5 helicopters assigned to the incident.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Today will be very hot and dry. Temperatures could approach 103 degrees and the minimum relative humidity could get as low as 17 percent. Terrain-driven winds are expected to remain light this morning, increasing this afternoon with gusts up to 12–15 mph possible. As the inversion lifts and smoke dissipates this morning, fire activity is likely to increase. Fire Behavior Analyst Jeff Shelton told crews gathered at this morning’s operational breifing, “If you can breathe better the fire can breathe better.”

Evacuations: Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. A voluntary evacuation means residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so should conditions worsen. All residents evacuating are advised to use eastbound Highway 190 to Mountain Road 107 (Western Divide Highway).

· Mandatory: Pierpoint Springs, Wishon, Doyle Springs, Alpine, Sequoia Crest, Cedar Slope, Mountain Aire (Rogers Camp), and Camp Nelson

· Volutary: Ponderosa

Evacuation Center: Porterville College at the Student Conference Center, 100 E. College Ave., Porterville. Call 1-800 REDCROSS.

Area Closures: Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest (CALFIRE) and Balch Park (Tulare County) are closed until the fire is brought under control.

August 30, 2017 at 7:41 AM

The Pier Fire, located in the Tule River Canyon above Springville grew overnight to an estimated 4655 acres. No structures have been damaged, the fires perimeter was a mile or more away from the nearest structure as of 6 a.m. this morning.

Most of the growth overnight was south of the highway towards Black Mountain and the Tule River Indian Reservation. The fire is nearing the Black Mountain Grove of giant sequoias near Solo Peak. Access into this part of the fire is extremely difficult with few roads, heavy fuels, and steep slopes.

Air support may be limited again today due to smoke lingering in the Tule River Canyon. Air Tankers and helicopters are assigned and will be used as conditions allow to support ground personnel. Engines have been assigned to areas that were evacuated for structure protection. The Pier Fire burned both north and south of Highway 190 on the Western Divide Ranger District in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest.

Highway 190 is currently closed between Balch Park turnoff above Springville, and Fox Road along the Western Divide Highway below Ponderosa. Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest (CALFIRE) and Balch Park (Tulare County) are closed until the fire is brought under control.

The following communities are under a mandatory evacuation order: Pierpoint Springs, Wishon, Doyle Springs, Alpine, Sequoia Crest, Cedar Slope, and Camp Nelson. Ponderosa remains under a voluntary evacuation advisory. All residents who are evacuating are advised to use east bound Highway 190 to the Western Divide Highway.

Evacuation Center: Porterville College at the Student Conference Center, located at 100 East College Avenue in Porterville. For information call 1-800 REDCROSS

U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Tulare County Fire Department are in unified command at this time. An Incident Command Team is expected to arrive today and will assume command as of 6 p.m. The cause of the fire is under investigation. For more information, please call 559-539-2607 ext. 2292 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.

August 29, 2017 at 6:42 PM

Update from Mountain Home – Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest and Balch Park are temporarily closed due to the Pier Fire. The Forest and Balch Park will open again when the fire is controlled and it is determined to be safe.

The following communities are under a mandatory evacuation order: Pierpoint Springs, Wishon, Doyle Springs, Alpine, Sequoia Crest, Cedar Slope, and Camp Nelson. Ponderosa remains under a voluntary evacuation advisory. All residents who are evacuating are advised to use east bound Highway 190 to the Western Divide Highway.
Evacuation Center: Porterville College at the Student Conference Center, located at 100 East College Avenue in Porterville.

August 29, 2017 at 9:21 AM

Fire personnel responded overnight to a wildfire in the Tule River Canyon above Springville. The Pier Fire has burned an estimated 1,000 acres both north and south of Highway 190 on the Western Divide Ranger District in Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest.

Highway 190 is currently closed between Balch Park turnoff above Springville, and Fox road along the Western Divide Highway below Ponderosa. Several communities near Camp Nelson are in the process of being evacuated while fire managers take action to suppress this fire. U.S. Forest Service and Tulare County Fire Department are in unified command at this time.

The following communities are under a mandatory evacuation order: Pierpoint Springs, Wishon, Doyle Springs, Alpine, Sequoia Crest, Cedar Slope, and Camp Nelson. Ponderosa remains under a voluntary evacuation advisory. All residents who are evacuating are advised to use east bound Highway 190 to the Western Divide Highway.

Evacuation Center: Porterville College at the Student Conference Center, located at 100 East College Avenue in Porterville.

An Incident Command Team CA IMT1 (von Tillow) on order. The cause of the fire is under investigation.