South Fork fire chars 100 acres (JUNE 21 UPDATE ADDED)

The South Fork wildland fire burning on a ridgeline just above the Huecker ranch.  (Daniel Huecker photo)

UPDATE: SUNDAY, JUNE 21, 2020— The Fork Fire has burned 130 acres and is 75 percent contained. Full containment is expected to be declared at 5 p.m. today, according to CALFIRE. No structures have been damaged or destroyed and no firefighters or private citizens were injured. The official cause remains under investigation although the Three Rivers deputy sheriff reported on social media that the cause was accidental.

As of Thursday, June 18, a wildland fire was burning in rugged terrain along the upper portion of South Fork Drive north of Cinnamon Creek. The location is approximately seven to nine miles up South Fork Drive from its intersection with Highway 198. BREAKING NEWS! South Fork

The “Fork Fire” was first reported shortly after 5 p.m. CALFIRE units were on scene shortly after the fire started and immediately ordered air tankers to drop retardant and helicopters to make water drops. The aircraft worked continuously until darkness made it too risky to fly. 

Conditions were favorable overnight with decent humidity and little wind so that there was not much spread beyond the 100 acres that was reported at 9 p.m. At that time, the fire was 10 percent contained.

In addition to a number of CALFIRE units at the scene, Tulare County Fire Department units were standing by in case any structures were threatened. There were no initial reports of injuries but at least two structures were reportedly destroyed. Several hand crews and hotshot crews were en route and expected to be deployed to extinguish the blaze and complete mop-up operations on Friday.

Up-canyon traffic was held at South Fork and Blossom drives (the four-way stop signs) for a couple hours to allow emergency crews access to the narrow roadway.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Initial reports of a “meth lab” explosion are erroneous. More information will be posted here as it becomes available.  i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i

A CALFIRE air tanker drops retardant on a ridgeline just above the 48000 block of South Fork Drive. By nightfall, the blaze had consumed 100 acres and was burning on the north side of Cahoon Peak. (Daniel Huecker photo)

Read more: CALFIRE suspends burn permits

One thought on “South Fork fire chars 100 acres (JUNE 21 UPDATE ADDED)

  • June 19, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Kudos to not only the firefighters who’ve made quick work of this conflagration, but also to the Tulare County Fuel Reduction team who have done a masterful job of clearing burnables from South Fork Road the past few months-and perfect timing I might add, thanks!


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