Fire at a glance (numbers)

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

Schaeffer, Sequoia NF. Transfer of command from IMT 2 (Arroyo) back to the local unit will occur today. Seventeen miles north of Kernville, CA. Timber and brush. Minimal fire behavior with backing, flanking and isolated torching. Road, area and trail closures in effect.

July 18, 2017 at 7:46 AM

Over the last several days, firefighters have been very successful in holding the containment lines on the Schaeffer Fire. Crews continue to seek out hot spots with the help of Infrared Imaging.

These hot spots are within the fire’s perimeter and once identified, firefighters immediately work to extinguish the hot spots that threaten the containment line.

With the significant progress made by firefighters in reaching 77% containment, fire managers are now downsizing the suppression organization. Resources are being released as conditions warrant. The management of the Schaeffer Fire will returned to the Sequoia National Forest under the management their local forest team. Transition to the forest will be Tuesday, July 18, 2016. The forest team will be responsible to further secure the fire line, continue mopping up, patrol and rehabilitate areas affected by the suppression activities. On behalf of Central Coast Incident Management Team, Incident Commander Van Arroyo, would like to thank the communities affected by the Schaeffer Fire for their patience and cooperation.

July 17, 2017 at 7:04 AM

Planned actions: Continue to reinforce hand line and black line. Crews are initiating back haul of excess equipment, patrolling, and mopping up fire line to the degree necessary to ensure the fire will stay within the constructed lines. Suppression Repair Group will begin to implement a suppression repair plan.

July 15, 2017 at 8:52 AM

Firefighters continue to have steady success with containment efforts. Crews are focused on completing line south of the Kern River in the Forks Dip area (northern perimeter) and above Beach Meadow (eastern perimeter). Teams will continue mop-up operations and ramp-up suppression repair efforts. Structure protection remains in place in Beach, BOnita, West, and Dasnner Meadows. Acreage remains the same due to the decreased fire behavior and the moderated weather pattern.

July 14, 2017 at 7:54 AM

The fire is held up in Beach Creek and Lion Creek drainages. Islands will continue to burn out in the perimeter of the fire.

Potential for new starts exists within the TFR (TFR = Temporary Flight Restriction) due to the forecasted thunderstorms Sunday. Gusty out flow winds could impact the fire. Aerial ignition is being evaluated for use on the northern edge of the fire.

There is little change in the weather pattern through Friday as the southwest U.S remains under large high pressure system. Southerly flow aloft will continue to bring upper level moisture northward and therefore a threat of afternoon thunderstorms will continue. Max temperatures 78-83. Min RH 18-23%. Local canyon winds expected with southwest to west afternoon ridge winds 2-5 gusts 14 mph.

July 12, 2017 at 9:41 PM

Firefighters are working night and day to suppress the Schaeffer Fire. Direct line (on the fire’s edge) in in place to cut off the fire’s southward movement. Hotshot crews are beginning to build direct handline to tie off the east flank, north of Rattlensnake Canyon (well within the initial containment lines). Crews are continuing to improve dozer line and hoselay that is providing protection to the Beach Meadow Area. Command has been able to acquire a number of additional hotshot and hand crews, increasing progress on suppression and containment efforts.

July 11, 2017 at 7:56 AM

Fire has reached Sacratone Flat to the North. Fire continues to move east into Beach Creek and Lion Creek drainages.

Ignitions are being conducted in the DIVS Z from Schaeffer Mountain to Lookout Mountain. Ignitions are progressing in DIVS Q. Direct suppression action will be initiated around the Beach Meadow private inholdings in DIVS G&H and firing may be initiated if necessary.

Moderate weather conditions continuing today. Generally light west winds are expected in the afternoon. Afternoon thunderstorms are still forecast for the fire area which could hit the fire with strong downdraft winds.
Max temperatures: 75-80
Min RH: 23-28%.
Local canyon winds with southwest to west ridge winds in the afternoon 2-5 gusts 11 to 15 mph.

Minimum RH values dropping back into the teens Thursday and Friday with warmer temperatures and a return of thunderstorms over the weekend.

Firefighters have had success with containment efforts supported by recent high moisture levels and slow fire growth through sparse fuels in the McNally (2002) burn scar. Completed line increased yesterday (see map) and the percentage contained should increase with this evening’s update. Crews will begin using hose lay in the Beach Meadow area to create defensible space and/or for mop-up (extinguishing burned areas) efforts. Additional direct suppression efforts include using burnout (burning toward the fire) or by building handline (scraping the ground to bare mineral soil). Crews continue to create defensible space, complete structure protection, and install sprinkler systems where appropriate in Danner, West, Bonita, and Beach Meadows. Options for a smaller containment area are being scouted.

View the July 11 Fire Progression Map or watch a 7/10 video update from Richard Hadley, Public Information Officer.

July 8, 2017 at 9:48 AM

There are two public meetings planned. One for the Kennedy Meadows area 7/8/2017 at 1800 at the Tulare County Volunteer Station #18. One in Inyokern on 7/9/2017 location and time to be announced. Fire information continues to be shared over the local radio station and through the local newspaper.

Smoke impacts on surrounding communities continues to be a significant concern; two Federal Air Resource Advisors are assigned to the incident to assist with predictive services and analysis.

A Sequoia National Forest Kern River Ranger District Area Roads, and Trails Closure is scheduled to be implemented beginning July 8th 2017. The closure will be in effect until the Schaefer Fire is declared out.

July 7, 2017 at 2:36 PM

Firefighters continue to have success with containment efforts as the fire continues backing slowly toward the Kern River to the northwest. Additional hotshot crews have arrived to help work in the rugged terrain, bringing personnel to 761.

The fire progressed on the southeast corner where crews continue to hold the fire along Forest Road 21S57. Fire crews continued to strengthen containment lines on the northwest flank near the Kern River. They also continue to construct indirect handline south to intersect with forest roads, trails, and Sherman Pass Road. Helicopters are making water drops to protect resources in the vicinity. Air tankers will be used to reinforce containment lines when they can be used effectively, and weather conditions permit.

Hotter and dryer weather conditions are predicted for this weekend with a slight chance of thunderstorms on Friday.

There will be a community meeting at Kennedy Meadows Volunteer Fire Station this Saturday at 4:00 PM.

July 7, 2017 at 7:35 AM

Fire continues to approach Sacratone Flat to the North and to back to the Kern River to the west. Fire is progressing east and south toward Danner Meadows.

Smoke impacts on surrounding communities continues to be a significant concern. As a result an Air Resource Advisor is assisting with predictive services and analysis.

Upper level ridge over the four corners area will move slightly westward Friday bringing a little warming and drying. A slight chance of thunderstorms will still exist in the afternoon which could impact the fire with variable or gusty winds. High temperatures Friday. Northwest 2-5 mph in the morning becoming southeast to southwest 2-5 mph after 10:00. Guest up to 15 mph in the afternoon. Slope winds down canyon to 4 mph becoming upslope 2-5 guest to 12 mph in the afternoon. Driest conditions expected on Saturday with Minimum RH values dropping into the mid teens.

July 6, 2017 at 7:40 AM

The fire is currently 10,674 acres and burning 17 miles north of Kernville within the 2002 McNally wildfire footprint.

July 5, 2017 at 9:03 AM

Fire will approach Sacatone Flat. Fire may approach Kern River.

Little change in weather patterns the next few days. Slight threat of afternoon and evening thunderstorms, most likely north of the fire area. Max temperatures around 80 degrees. Minimum rH around 20%. Wind downslope around 4 mph through 1000 becoming upslope to up canyon 5-10 mph with gusts up to about 15-20 mph in the mid to late afternoon.

July 4, 2017 at 9:56 AM

Weather: Temperatures in the general area of the fire will range in the lower 90’s with lower humidity ranging between 12 and 22%. Winds will be from the west today, shifting to northwest winds later tonight.

Fire Activity: Today’s fire behavior is expected to be moderate based on the forecasted weather and fuel moistures with an estimate of additional acres burned around 1000 acres.

Smoke Summary: Winds from the west will push smoke towards Kennedy Meadows and Coso Junction throughout most of today. Communities along the eastern Sierra will see general haze most of the day. Kernville will continue to see a diurnal pattern of the heaviest smoke in the morning, clearing by mid-afternoon.

July 3, 2017 at 9:00 AM

CA IMT2 (Arroyo) mobilized; in-briefing today at 10:00 at the Kernville Ranger District log cabin
Confine/contain fire
Reinforce trails and road systems to reduce firefighter exposure to snags.
Defend structures and infrastructure within fire area.

July 2, 2017 at 8:58 AM

Planned actions: Continue preparation and improvement of indirect and direct containment lines. Continue evaluation and scouting of alternative containment strategies.

Confine/Contain strategy: is the restricting of the fire to a defined area primarily using roads, trails and natural barriers that are expected to restrict the spread of the wildfire under prevailing and forecasted weather conditions.

July 1, 2017 at 10:11 AM

The Kern River Ranger District (KRRD) of the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument received thunderstorm activity over the area, Saturday, June 24, which resulted in the Schaeffer Fire.

The fire is burning in a north-easterly direction within the 2002 McNally wildfire footprint. Burning in whitethorn, dead and down logs and needle cast, the fire has burned 1,467 acres. Smoke is visible from the communities around Lake Isabella as well as drifting across the Sierra Crest and visible along Highway 395, between Olancha and Lone Pine. Smoke can also be seen from many vantage points north of Johnsondale and along the Lloyd Meadow and Western Divide roads.

Suppression planning decisions have been taken on the Schaeffer are in alignment with the confine and contain strategy. Confine and contain, on a fire, is the restricting of the fire to a defined area primarily using roads, trails, and natural barriers, expected to restrict the spread of the wildfire under prevailing and forecasted weather conditions. In other words, the goal of the strategy employed is appropriate management responses, where a fire perimeter is managed by a combination of direct and indirect actions and use of natural topographic features, as well as man-made features such as roads and trails.

Naturally caused wildfires can enhance many resource values when we allow fire to play its role on landscape. Confine and contain fires are managed for reducing accumulated forest litter and fuels, maintaining fire in a fire-adapted ecosystem increasing firefighter and public safety, and protecting cultural resources and wildlife habitat.

Helicopters started inserting multiple crews on June 29th. Firefighters are working on securing line, and scouting, to identify potential fire lines in a manner consistent with, and maintaining, the natural barriers of the landscape, and improving existing trails. Crews are constructing direct hand lines, to the east using natural barriers.

Abby Bolt, Incident Commander trainee stated, “I am proud of the work all of the firefighters and support personnel are putting in. The helitack modules are doing an amazing job while displaying safety and efficiency when transporting all of the crews out to the fire line.”

Fire managers are working closely with the California Air Resource Board and the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District and 233 firefighters, and fire management personnel are assigned to the fire.

Smoke from fires produces particulate matter. People with existing respiratory conditions, young children, and elderly people are especially susceptible to health effects from these pollutants. Air District officials urge residents to follow their doctors’ orders when exposed to particulate matter and stay indoors if at all possible.