The Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks fire management program is conducting a prescribed fire in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park. Ignitions began Monday, Oct. 20.
The first ignitions were in the vicinity where the Tar Gap Trail climbs the first drainage, approximately 45 minutes out by foot from Cold Springs Campground, reported Dave Allen, parks’ fire management officer. Day two finished ignitions in the upper portion of the burn unit above trail. On day three (Wednesday, Oct. 22), fire crews began to light “in earnest,” he said, on portions farther down canyon.
Ignitions of entire 1,485 acres are expected to be complete by Friday. The fire will then be allowed to burn within the segment’s boundaries.
The fire is located south of the East Fork of the Kaweah River, bordered by Mosquito Creek to the east and Avalanche Creek to the west.
According to a Park Service press release, “the Mosquito Prescribed Burn is being conducted to reduce hazardous fuels and to restore the natural fire cycle to the East Fork of the Kaweah River. This burn provides crucial protection for the residents and visitors of the Silver City and Mineral King areas and is part of a long-term project to ensure safety to all.”
Aerial operations are the primary source of ignitions on the burn. Engines will be on the ground conducting holding operations. Smoke can be expected in the Mineral King valley, as well as potentially in the Three Rivers area.
The Tar Gap Trail will be closed during the fire. The Mineral King Road is scheduled to close to the public for the winter on Monday, Oct. 27, at noon.