The Tulare County Sheriff has issued mandatory evacuation orders for Silver City and Mineral King, effective immediately (Friday, September 18, 2020, at 1 p.m.), due to the SQF Complex fire activity.
Mandatory evacuation means an immediate threat to life, safety, and property; all residents must evacuate the area.
The area is located from miles 19 to 25 on the Mineral King Road. It is a seasonal cabin community consisting of Atwell Mill, Cabin Cove, Silver City, and west and east Mineral King. The elevation ranges from 6,600 to 8,000 feet.
There are two campgrounds, a ranger dwelling, park employee housing, a ranger station, corrals, and a store, restaurant, and lodging consisting of cabins and larger chalets. Silver City is private land; Atwell Mill, Cabin Cove, and Mineral King are on National Park Service land. The entire area is known as the Mineral King Road Cultural Landscape District and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Some of the cabins are a century old or more. The area is abundant with historical artifacts and natural resources such as several giant sequoia groves.
There is some recent fire history in the area. The Eden and Horse fires were lightning-caused resource-management burns in the Hockett Meadow area. The Tar Gap area has been the site of several large-scale prescribed fires over the last two decades. These areas are all situated between the Castle Fire and the Mineral King valley.
It is advised to stay off of the Mineral King Road in order to allow for the movement of firefighters and equipment. The road is narrow and windy and, in some places, consists of a single lane.
Mineral King: A picture-perfect place