Location: 12 air miles east of the town center of Three Rivers; 10 air miles west of Mineral King (Golden Trout Wilderness in Sequoia and Inyo national forests; Tulare County); consists of the Castle Fire and Shotgun Fire.
Expected Full Containment: Date has been adjusted to October 10, 2020, three weeks earlier than the previous date of October 31. CASTLE FIRE PROGRESSION
September 25— 144,777
September 26— 148,850
September 27— 149,888
September 28— 150,286
September 29— 150,800
Containment of Castle Fire:
September 25— 36%
September 26— 39%
September 27— 47%
September 28— 50%
September 29— 58%
Structures Threatened: None! (This is a major change; on September 23, structures threatened were 3,143)
Structures Destroyed: CASTLE FIRE PROGRESSION
(All in the cabin communities off Highway 190 east of Springville)
September 25— 161
September 26— 173 (no change in this number)
Personnel (and +/- difference since last report):
September 25— 1,763 total (+255) | 27 hand crews (+2), 37 water tenders (+2), 9 helicopters (same), 110 engines (+7), 53 dozers (+18).
September 26— 1,998 total | 36 hand crews, 40 water tenders, 18 helicopters, 159 engines, 31 dozers
September 27— 2,058 total | 40 hand crews, 39 water tenders, 21 helicopters, 156 engines, 34 dozers
September 28— 2,249 total | 46 hand crews, 38 water tenders, 21 helicopters, 167 engines, 33 dozers
September 29— 1,987 total | 43 hand crews, 35 water tenders, 11 helicopters, 132 engines, 28 dozers
Analysis and Updates (September 26): The portion of the Castle Fire continuing to be the most active is in Sequoia National Park north of Dennison Ridge. This fire has now met the back-burned area to the northwest in the Grouse Valley/Creek/Peak area that is intended to stop its growth into the upper South Fork canyon. The portion of fire in Garfield Grove is about 1 mile from the South Fork river. Another section of the blaze is 2 miles away from South Fork Campground. BUT NOTE: Growth has remained slow for the past few days. There is a weather change looming, which typically means wind gusts. The increase in temperatures over the next week will bring with it the associated challenges when attempting to stop a fire in the wildland. C
Analysis and Updates (September 29):
—The west side of the Castle Fire is almost completely contained. That is a huge amount of progress over the past week. There is a contingency line on Cinnamon Gap in the Case Mountain area, a backup if the fire makes a run for it. Firefighters remain on watch duty in the Mineral King area.
—Sequoia National Park has been closed for two weeks. The opening of Sequoia from Three Rivers is dependent on the lifting of the evacuation warning in Three Rivers. “Once [the evacuation warning] is lifted, the plan is to reopen,” reported Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, parks public information officer.
The Mineral King area remains closed and will transition directly into winter mode so will not open to the public again until Memorial Day 2021.
—Salt Creek trails remain closed to bikers and hikers due to the usage of the fire roads by vehicles and equipment to access Cinnamon Gap and Case Mountain.
—South Fork Drive residents who live above Cinnamon Canyon Road (between miles 5.5 and 9.5) remain under mandatory evacuation.
—A portable retardant base was set up Sunday, September 27, at the Schrock Ranch (beginning of North Fork Drive) in Three Rivers, which enables aircraft to fight the northwest side of the Castle Fire from the closest location. From the base by North Fork Bridge, the CH-47 military helicopter can fly to the northern flank of Dennison Mountain, the most active portion of the fire, in under 10 minutes to drop its 2,000 gallons of retardant load. This is the most efficient way to contain the northern portion of the Castle Fire due to the remote locations and lack of roads in these areas. CASTLE FIRE PROGRESSION
—Hot, dry conditions are forecast for this week, which will present challenges to firefighters on the Castle Fire and throughout the state. The high temperature for Three Rivers will be in the low 90s, a significant reduction from the 100-degree week that was formerly being forecast. Both Northern and Southern California are under red flag warnings due to strong offshore winds and high fire danger.
From CALFIRE Incident Management Team 6’s morning report for the Dennison Mountain area (9/29): Minimal overnight humidity recovery allowed the backing fire spread off of Dennison Mountain to continue to progress. A thermal belt set in around 3,500 feet elevation and produced warm, dry conditions in the mid slope areas, which aided the active fire in continuing its spread. Below 3,500 feet elevation, the inversion layer limited fire activity and spread. Heat from the heavy dead down logs and fire weakened timber that remains close to the control lines and still poses a significant threat due to release and ember cast.
. CASTLE FIRE PROGRESSION
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