The Alder Fire is creeping along the forest floor on the north side of North Alder Creek in a dense stand of timber in Giant Sequoia National Monument. Located about 35 miles southeast of Three Rivers, this lightning-caused fire is the most likely culprit of the hazy skies in Three Rivers this past week.
Sequoia National Forest fire managers report there is heavy fuel on the ground and lots of tree mortality where the fire is concentrated, about five miles north of Camp Nelson. The numerous snags where the fire is burning is making it hazardous to send in ground crews.
To confine and contain the fire, managers have employed aerial firing from helicopters to slow the progress of the fire on the west and southwest boundaries of the burn area. Along with aerial firing, firefighters have been preparing defensive perimeters around the Doyle Springs and Sierra Crest, the nearest communities.
As of Thursday, Oct. 25, the fire had charred 742 acres and was three percent contained. It was discovered October 4 after lightning strikes were reported in the area.
Sherman Prescribed Burn
The Sherman Prescribed Burn in Sequoia National Park, which was scheduled to begin Friday, Oct. 19, was postponed on that day after a test burn of three acres yielded unsatisfactory results due to high moisture level in the vegetation.
“Under current conditions, this prescribed burn would take much longer to complete than we had anticipated, and the moisture in the fuels would cause it to produce an inordinate amount of smoke,” reported Andrew Cremers, fuels technician.
The primary purpose of this prescribed fire was to reduce hazardous fuel loading in the Giant Forest sequoia grove and to maintain the natural fire cycle in this unique ecosystem of Sequoia National Park. The test burn was performed in the northernmost segment of the burn, along the Lodgepole-Sherman Tree Trail between the Giant Forest Trail and Wolverton Road.