Maps and commentary by: Ryan Stephens
***Noon on October 1 ~ KNP Complex Weather Update by Incident Meteorologist Jason Straub
***10am on October 1 ~ Morning briefing video from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
***9:30pm on September 30 ~ Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks KNP Complex Facebook Update
KNP Complex Fire Announcement: Ground and air resources are currently responding to a 500-600 acre spot fire that has crossed the north fork of the Kaweah River, approximately two to three miles southeast of Eshom Point. Updates will be provided as information becomes available.
Looking northwest at the spotfire near the north fork of the Kaweah River.
*** 9:30pm on September 30 IR interpreter’s log
The map below is an overview of IR heat signatures captured at 2130PDT last night. Looking east over the fire, we see growth within several sequoia groves and a large spot fire over the north fork of the Kaweah River (located in the north west KNP Complex perimeter in the map):
👆The Key in the upper left corner of the map explains color shading in regards to heat intensity and active growth within the KNP Complex perimeter. White perimeter line was yesterday’s perimeter. Giant Sequoia Groves are SHADED GREEN. Past 10 years of (Rx) prescribed fire is SHADED DARK BLUE, LIGHT BLUE PERIMETERS on the map show the past 10 years of fire history in the area👇
Zooming in to the Castle Creek area (upper center of the overview map) and looking west at active fire spreading through the grove.
Looking East along the northwest perimeter. Fire spotted across the river yesterday and was moving quickly in the direction of Eshom Point and the OHV Staging Area. Fire also has moved through the entire perimeter of the Pine Ridge + Skagway Groves and is actively burning in a grove that is named after John Muir.
Now is an important time to reiterate how prescribed fire played a big role in protecting the world’s largest trees. Looking back at the Giant Forest Grove, we can see plainly that the areas in BLUE (prescribed fires within the last 10 years) did a fantastic job keeping high intensity wildfire from burning into the grove.
***END KNP COMPLEX
***10am on October 1 ~ Sequoia National Forest
***7pm on September 30 ~ Sequoia National Forest
Seventeen helicopters, one UAS (i.e., drone), two CL-415s (i.e., Super Scoopers), and a Cobra (an intelligence-gathering helicopter)—are assigned to the incident. Today’s clear skies made for a busy day for air operations. Helicopters conducted numerous water drops, particularly on the west side of the fire, as they supported the firing operation and other fire-suppression activities. The Super Scoopers were used on the southern two-thirds of the fire, primarily along the eastern side where the steep terrain above the M99 corridor and the Kern River is inaccessible to firefighters. The UAS, unlike the helicopters assigned to the incident, can detect heat sources through smoke. It surveils the perimeter, detecting isolated heat sources that the ground crews then locate and extinguish. It is also being used on this incident to fly over and assess the condition of the giant-sequoia groves.
On the southwestern side of the fire, crews are holding the fire within its current footprint and continuing to mop up hotspots in and around several small communities, such as Sugarloaf Mountain Park, Pine Flat, and California Hot Springs. There are 2,500 people assigned to the fire, the majority of whom are in the field, day and night, working hard to protect natural values and structures around the entire fire perimeter and attempting to suppress the fire as quickly and safely as possible.