Lightning causes several small fires in Southern Sierra

Lightning causes several small
Intense smoky conditions settled in the Kaweah canyon and all up and down the Sierra Nevada starting on Wednesday, August 19. The toxic smoke was transported from dozens of out-of-control wildfires burning in the northern Bay Area and the inland coastal areas of Northern California.

The lightning storms that rolled through Northern California on Sunday and Monday, August 16-17, and ignited dozens of catastrophic wildfires, caused three strikes in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in the wildnerness and all were drenched by accompanying rainfall. The intense smoke in the Kaweah Canyon, that began on Wednesday, August 19, was transported here from the numerous wildfires burning in the northern coastal and inland region of the Bay Area. 

Fire Name: Rattlesnake    Date: 8/16  

Start Date: 8/16     Location: located above Rattlesnake Creek/Trail at 9,000 foot elevation. 

Size: .1 acre                       

Strategy: Monitor 

Lightning-caused fire. The fire received significant rain limiting any potential for growth. It is surrounded by natural rock barriers with very scattered vegetation. There is no threat to trail system.  Firefighters will continue to patrol the fire checking for smoke as the weather begins to dry. 


Fire Name: Sheep    Date: 8/16  

Start Date: 8/16     Location: South rim of Kings Canyon below Sentinel Ridge, east of Don Cecil Trail in Sheep drainage. 2 miles east of Summit Peak boundary with Sequoia Forest. 

Size: .1  acre                  

Strategy: Suppression, Patrol Status  

Comments:  Lightning caused. Helicopter 552 did some bucket work and firefighters put containment lines around the fire utilizing natural barriers and MIST tactics. Crews will continue to patrol the fire to ensure there is no heat. This fire was suppressed to limit smoke and firefighter exposure.

Fire Name: Big Arroyo    Date: 8/16  

Start Date: 8/16     Location: 2/10 mile south of Big Arroyo, 40 feet west of the Kern River, in between trail and river. 

Size: .1 acre                      

Strategy: Suppression  

Comments: Lightning caused. The fire is in patrol status. Crews put containment line around the fire utilizing natural barriers and MIST tactics and will continue to monitor for heat and smoke. This fire was suppressed because of the proximity to the trail, a continuous fuel bed, and to limit smoke and firefighter exposure. 

Fire Name: Castle    Date: 8/19  

Start Date: 8/16     Location: In Golden Trout Wilderness, southeast of Castle Rock near Jerkey Meadow trailhead. 

Size: 5 acres                      

Strategy: Suppression  

Comments: Lightning caused. Six 20-person hand crews are working to fully extinguish the fire. A helicopter is being utilized to drop buckets of water to help firefighters douse the flames.There is no immediate threat to homes. Currently, there are no trail closures in the Golden Trout Wilderness. Backcountry users are urged to avoid traveling in the area near the fire. A closure of Jerkey Meadow and Forks of the Kern Trailheads may become necessary based on fire conditions.   

Lightning causes several small
The Sheep Fire started on a ridge on the south rim of Kings Canyon below Sentinel Ridge .2 miles east of of the Summit Peak boundary with Sequoia National Forest. It remains on patrol status but is not expected to spread. (NPS photo)

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