California Wildland Fire Continues to Grow

LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. --

The Lion Fire, presently at 11,411 acres, is expected to grow this week as firefighters continue to focus on securing the perimeter and containing the fire. Managing the fire safely has been a chief priority for forest and park officials.

We appreciate the patience of visitors, residents, and gateway communities during this incident and its associated smoke event, said Priscilla Summers, District Ranger on the Sequoia National Forest.

The fire crossed Soda Spring Creek and showed significant growth yesterday. The aerial ignitions underway are planned to help moderate the fire intensity in this area.

On the west, structure protection of the Pecks Cabins, a private in-holding surrounded by Golden Trout Wilderness, was initiated using burning operations around the cabins. Additionally, aerial ignitions began to encourage moderate fire spread near the cabins that allows safe firefighter response.

To the north, protection of the Quinn Patrol Cabin within Sequoia National Park is underway, with strategic burning operations to remove fuels in front of the main fire. On the south and east side, firefighters are working aggressively to hold the fire from spreading across Lion Creek. Other parts of the perimeter are being contained by rocky ridges or past wildfires.

As active fire containment operations continue and the fire grows in the next few days, smoke should be expected in the Kern River Valley, eastern Sierra towns, and the mountain communities of Tulare County. We are working with our air districts to best address air quality issues while still responding to this fire, said Priscilla Summers.

A public meeting is planned for today, Tuesday, July 26 at 6:30 pm in Kernville at the Odd Fellows Hall at 50 Tobias Street.

An area closure is in effect for parts of the Golden Trout Wilderness and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park. Fire information and a closure map can be found on Inciweb: http://inciweb.org/incident/2400/. Anyone planning to travel into the Forests Wilderness is asked to contact the Western Divide Ranger District at 559-539-2607 to obtain your permit for overnight stay in areas outside the closure area. For those planning wilderness travel in the southern area of Sequoia National Park should call the 559-565-3766.

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