Lion Fire update, October 6, 2017

Above: A firing operation on the Lion Fire October 5, 2017. USFS photo.

(Originally published at 8:27 a.m. PDT October 6, 2017)

Firefighters in the Sequoia National Forest are using strategic fire as one of their main tools on the Lion Fire 30 miles northeast of Porterville, California in the Golden Trout Wilderness.

On Thursday a helicopter using a plastic sphere dispenser ignited fire on a rocky 9,000 to 10,000-foot elevation ridge, letting it back down the very steep slope toward the valley below. The incident management team reported Friday morning that the fire had grown to 8,100 acres, an increase of 250 acres over the previous day.

map perimeter of the Lion Fire
3-D map showing the approximate perimeter of the Lion Fire based on satellite data from October 5 and 6 2017.

Resources assigned include 8 hand crews, 3 helicopters, and 2 engines for a total of 221 personnel.

As promised Thursday the National Interagency Coordination Center stopped listing the Lion Fire Friday on their daily Situation Report because of a lack of “significant activity” even though it doubled in size on Wednesday. The fire is not being totally suppressed, but is being managed to protect private property.

Perimeter of the Lion Fire October 5, 2017
Perimeter of the Lion Fire October 5, 2017. USFS map with large black text added by Wildfire Today.
Lion Fire
Lion Fire. USFS photo, uploaded October 3, 2017.


Lion Fire in Sequoia NF doubles in size

Above: Lion Fire in Sequoia National Forest. Photo uploaded to Inciweb October 5, 2017.

(Originally published at 11:22 a.m. PDT October 5, 2017)

After burning for 11 days since it started on September 24, the Lion Fire roared through the Sequoia National Forest Tuesday and Wednesday, doubling in size to 7,850 acres.

The fire is 10 miles northeast of Camp Nelson and 30 miles northeast of Porterville, California in the Golden Trout Wilderness.

Firefighters are working to protect the structures at the privately owned R.M. Pyles Boys Camp.

The Lion Fire is not being fully suppressed. Most of the current spread has been in an area that burned in the 2011 Lion Fire.

“This fire is spreading mostly through ground fuels in this remote part of the Wilderness,” stated District Ranger Eric LaPrice. “Efforts to contain the fire will be made along routes where firefighters can work safely while avoiding stands of dead trees and inaccessible terrain.”

Smoke is expected to settle into the valleys in the late evening and early morning hours due to inversion patterns that normally hold the smoke in low-lying areas.

A weather station about 8 miles southwest of the fire recorded single digit humidities Wednesday night into mid-day on Thursday. During that period west to northwest winds were blowing at 4 to 11 mph with gusts of 11 to 16 mph.

Oddly, the National Interagency Fire Center’s Situation Report said Thursday, while showing a 4,050-acre increase in size, “Last report unless significant activity occurs.” We might be confused about how NIFC defines “significant activity”. But they often distribute less information about fires that are not being suppressed.