Article updated October 14, 2014
The North Boundary Prescribed Fire, originally scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 8, was rescheduled to Monday, Oct. 13. The ignitions on the 242-acre unit located near the Grant Grove village area in Kings Canyon National Park were initially postponed due to the Dog Rock Fire in Yosemite and the subsequent air tanker crash that resulted in the death of the pilot. At that time, all Cal Fire aircraft were grounded.
The fire will encompass an area in the northeast portion of Grant Grove. The unit is north of Panoramic Point Road and Crystal Springs Campground and east of Highway 180. Ignitions will occur over a four-day period.
The Panoramic Point Road will be closed during the ignition period. The northern segment of the Crystal Springs Trail and the North Boundary Trail that is east of Highway 180 will remain closed throughout the burn, which is expected to continue until there is precipitation.
Visitors and residents of Grant Grove, Wilsonia, Hume Lake, and Sequoia Lake should anticipate smoke from this project, expecially in the late evening and early morning hours.
Lightning-caused fire suppressed
On Saturday, Sept. 20, a storm system moved through the southern Sierra region. As a result, a lightning strike ignited a fire at about 6,000 feet near the Redwood Mountain Grove in Kings Canyon National Park.
Upon discovery, the fire was about two to three acres in size. Although in an undeveloped area, consideration was given to the severe drought conditions, and the park helicopter made several bucket drops of water to deter the blaze before it was suppressed by ground crews.
Restrictions lifted from barbecues and campfires
Effective Friday, October 3, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks lifted its fire restrictions, citing that recent rain and shorter and cooler days have reduced fire danger.
What this means is that wood and charcoal fires are now permitted within designated fire rings in all foothills campgrounds and picnic areas in Sequoia National Park. Campfires are also now permitted in wilderness areas below 6,000 feet in elevation. Smoking is also permitted below 6,000 feet.
Year-round fire restrictions still apply to specific sites in the backcountry so know before you go. Fires are prohibited in some areas of the wilderness due to scarcity of wood and resource concerns.
Even with restrictions lifted, visitors must still follow the parks’ year-round regulations concerning fire. In the wilderness:
—Keep campfires small, in a safe area, and away from overhanging limbs.
—Use existing campfire rings; do not build new fire rings.
—Extinguish fires at least a half-hour before leaving camp; add water and stir the ashes until they are cold to the touch.
Additionally, all visitors must:
—Use the designated campfire ring in all campgrounds.
—Gather only dead and down wood; do not cut limbs from trees.
—Extinguish cigarettes and properly dispose of the filter.