Lightning-Caused Fires Discovered in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Incident: Sequoia Lightning Fires Wildfire
For Immediate Release – July 24, 2013
Linda Mutch (559) 565-3703, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Lightning-caused Fires Discovered in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Lightning activity from storms July 21st and 22nd started six new fires in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Due to their relatively remote wilderness locations, these fires do not currently pose a threat to life or property. None of the fires is currently greater than ¼ acre in size.
The Tent Meadow Fire is burning in a single tree east of Lower Tent Meadow at 8,800 feet in elevation in Kings Canyon National Park. This fire is in a rocky area of sparse fuels and will continue to be monitored by air. The fire area is steep and inaccessible to firefighters.
The remaining fires are all in Sequoia National Park. The Silliman Fire was discovered less than a ¼ -mile west of Lodgepole just north of the Generals Highway at 6700 feet in elevation on July 22nd. It was burning within the 2010 Silliman Prescribed Fire unit in a large red fir tree. Local fire crew members took suppression action on the fire, and it is currently being periodically patrolled to check for smoldering fire in the fir tree.
The Skagway Fire, also found on July 22nd, is located at the north end of the Skagway Grove of giant sequoias, at approximately 5500 feet in elevation. Suppression action was taken with helicopter bucket drops of water followed by a five-person ground crew to contain the fire.
On July 23rd, three additional fires were discovered through helicopter patrol of areas with high lightning activity:
The Cahoon Fire is southwest of Cahoon Rock above the South Fork of the Kaweah River, at 8,000 feet in elevation. A ground crew began suppression action on this fire July 24th.
The Dennison Fire is also in the South Fork of the Kaweah drainage near Dennison Mountain at about 5,500 feet in elevation. This fire is less than one-half mile from the western boundary of the park. A ground crew began suppression action on this fire July 24th. Yosemite National Park assisted by inserting some firefighters who rappelled from the Yosemite helicopter.
The Hockett Fire is located about one-half mile west of Hockett Meadow, near a tributary of Whitman Creek. It is burning at about 8500 feet in elevation. Park fire staff will assess this fire for spread potential by July 25th and determine the appropriate management strategy.
All of these fires are in the wilderness of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. While lightning fires are sometimes allowed to burn in wilderness to promote forest health, most of these fires are being suppressed due to the severe drought conditions and very high fire danger.