Smoke and Ash Could Cover Valley Through Thursday, Air District Says
Containment of the KNP Complex dropped nearly in half Monday as the wildfire continued to consume timber and brush parched by the drought in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park.
In addition, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office issued an evacuation order in the Mineral King area — Gateway to the park entrance, including Sycamore Drive.
There will be a road closure at Highway 198 and Mineral King Road, the sheriff’s office said Monday morning.
Stay Inside, Air District Advises
Meanwhile, the Valley Air District said Monday afternoon that because smoke and ash from the KNP Complex and Windy fires have combined with a high-pressure system, the current Air Quality Alert is expected to continue through Thursday.
“The district warns residents being impacted by smoke to remain indoors to reduce their exposure to particulate matter emissions,” officials said in a news release.
“Those with existing respiratory conditions, including COVID-19, young children, and the elderly, are especially susceptible to the health effects from this form of pollution. Residents experiencing poor air quality due to wildfire smoke should move to a filtered, air-conditioned environment with windows closed.”
KNP Complex fire continues to burn hot through the night. This imagery is from Buck Rock looking southwest towards the Generals Highway in Kings Canyon Park. Extremely dry fuels combined with heavy fuel loading are keeping fires burning hot even through the nights. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/6oAAEFbN2G
— NWS Hanford (@NWSHanford) October 4, 2021
Late Sunday night, winds caused a spot fire across Mineral King Road, prompting an evacuation order for Crest, Sierra King, Hammond, and Oak Grove.
Parts of Fresno County are under evacuation warnings. They are Sequoia Lake, Cedarbrook, Etheda Springs. and Pinehurst.
To see if you are under an evacuation order or warning, click on this link and type in your address.
Related Story: EXPLAINER: Fighting Fire With Fire to Protect Sequoia Trees
Containment Falls to 11%, Fire Grows to 67,708 Acres
Authorities said that the fire’s growth to nearly 68,000 acres cut the containment from 20% to 11% as of 11 a.m. Monday.
There are 1,531 firefighters on the scene: 26 crews, 61 engines, 40 water tenders, 21 dozers, and 12 helicopters.
Officials are hoping that the high-pressure ridge that has held smoke over the fire over the past few days will begin to break down today. If that occurs, smoke will exit the area and aid firefighters.
Watch: Saturday’s KNP Complex Community Meeting
Firefighters Achieve 68% Containment of Windy Fire
Containment improved from 52% Saturday night to 68% on Monday morning. The fire is now about 95,000 acres.
Officials said that containment lines are holding in the Camp Nelson area. On the east side of the fire, crews have suppressed the fire directly from Johnsondale southward.
Helicopters are proving invaluable in the effort to squelch the blaze, officials said. They are dropping water on the fire’s edge to halt or slow its progression eastward toward the Kern River. On the southeastern corner west of Baker Point, all of the spot fires are contained.
Related Story: Why Aren’t California Wildfires Fought With Best Technologies?
Watch: Monday’s Windy Fire Briefing