With the announcement last weekend that that the interagency 264-acre Sequoia Creek prescribed burn was postponed, Kaweah Country residents could breathe a little easier this week. There was some residual smoke in the Kaweah canyon on Wednesday and Thursday from at least two fires that continued to burn south of the Three Rivers area.
The Jacobson Fire was discovered on Saturday, Oct. 22, burning in a remote area of the Golden Trout Wilderness. The fire is approximately 1,600 acres but has been confined by previous burned areas and current weather conditions. Sequoia National Forest fire crews are using “Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics” in confining this blaze, and with the approaching rainy periods, the Jacobson Fire is expected to burn itself out.
The lightning-caused Slate Fire continues to burn on a ridgetop near Slate Mountain and now has grown to more than 100 acres. It’s located in a remote area of the Giant Sequoia National Monument and is being managed as a resource benefit. It too will burn out if and when the area receives some significant moisture.
On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Cal Fire also completed ignitions on a 36-acre prescribed burn unit in the Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest near Springville. This burn plot was located south of Summit and Swedish Tree roads.
All these blazes contributed some smoke to the local foothills though the impacts to air quality pale in comparison to an event like the Rough Fire of 2015. A series of colder storms due in the region by Monday, Oct. 31, should put an end to the fire season at least for the immediate future.
Fire restrictions end— Effective today (Friday, Oct. 28), Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks lifted fire restrictions. Recent rains as well as shorter and cooler days have reduced fire danger.
Wood and charcoal fires are now permitted within designated fire rings in all foothills campgrounds. Charcoal grills may also now be used in the Hospital Rock and Ash Mountain picnic areas, and smoking is permitted outdoors unless posted, but cigarettes need to be completely extinguished with proper disposal of the remaining butt.