The Lion Wildland Fire, burning in the backcountry of Sequoia National Forest and Sequoia National Park has reached approximately 20,500 acres since being ignited by lightning on July 8th. Fire officials have reopened the trail to Farewell Gap in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the Sequoia National Forest for hikers. A closure will remain in effect through September for the area along Soda Spring Creek drainage where the Lion Fire continues to burn.
The current closure area is west of the Little Kern River, which opens the trail on the east side of the river from Lion Meadows to Farewell Gap. The Newlywed Trail (FS 31E13) is closed north of Nelson Cabin. Trail closures in the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks are still in effect where Trail 31E14 crosses into the southern part of Sequoia National Park near Sheep Mountain.
Travelers need to stay on the trail for their safety. There are still hot spots smoldering in the burned area, trees that may fall having been weakened by fire, and rolling debris loosened from burned vegetation. The Lion Fire is 95% contained by rocky ridges, areas with little or no fuel, previous wildland fires, rivers, creeks, existing trails, or fire line cut through surface fuels. There is no estimate for when the fire will be fully contained within this pre-determined perimeter.
New growth can already be seen sprouting in many areas burned in the Lion Fire, attracting deer and other wildlife. A Burned Area Emergency Response Team (BAER) is planning to do some trail work to reduce impacts on the landscape. Forest Biologists are working with the BAER Team and the Department of Fish and Game to minimize erosion from trails into creeks, which could impact fish and aquatic organisms.
Area closures remain in effect in Sequoia National Forest and Sequoia National Park. Anyone planning to travel into the Forest's Wilderness is asked to contact the Western Divide Ranger District at 559-539-2607 Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. For those planning wilderness travels in the southern area of Sequoia National Park, call 559-565-3766.
|Date of Origin||Friday July 08th, 2011 approx. 01:00 PM|
|Location||Sequoia National Forest - Golden Trout Wilderness|
|Incident Commander||Paul Gibbs|
Mixed conifer and brush.
Some backing continues on the Northwest part of the fire near Soda Butte in Sequoia National Park.
The Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks have assumed command of lands within the Parks and the Sequoia National Forest will continue with the Forest lands.
Firefighters are pulling hose and pumps and starting suppression rehab in all divisions at this point. A Burn Area Rehab Team is assessing the area for potential areas that may need stabilization.