The KNP Complex, ignited by lightning on the night of September 9, grew significantly yesterday. The complex is comprised of the Paradise Fire and the Colony Fire. Sequoia National Park is closed to the public, and employees that reside inside the park have been evacuated. Kings Canyon National Park remains open, but serious air quality impacts are possible.
The KNP Complex has burned 8,940-acres and is 0% containment.
The Paradise Fire has grown to the west, prompting Tulare County Sheriff to issue a mandatory evacuation order for part of the community of Three Rivers. The area of Three Rivers under mandatory evacuation is the Mineral King Road in its entirety, areas along Sierra King Drive, Crest Lane, Hammond Drive, and Oak Grove Drive, and areas along Highway 198 from the intersection with Mineral King Road to the Sequoia National Park entrance station.
The remainder of the community of Three Rivers is under evacuation warning. The evacuation warning is not an order. It means that residents should prepare for the possibility of evacuation so that they will be ready to mobilize and leave should the evacuation warning escalate to an evacuation order. Explore a map of the areas under evacuation warning and order, as well as other evacuation resources, at tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/.
To view the video of last night’s community meeting at the Three Rivers Memorial Building, visit www.facebook.com/SequoiaKingsNPS/videos. The parks’ fire management operation will transition with a Southern-area Blue Type 1 National Incident Management Team tomorrow. Type 1 teams are equipped to handle the largest and highest-complexity emergency situations. Future community meetings will be scheduled when the team is in place.
The KNP Complex has been a full suppression incident since the discovery of the smokes the morning following the lightning storm. In the case of the Paradise Fire, extremely steep topography and a total lack of access have prevented any ground crew operations, and in the case of the Colony Fire, only a limited amount of ground crew access has been possible. Both fires are utilizing extensive aerial resources performing water and retardant drops.
Air quality is seriously affected in Three Rivers. Particulate matter readings have been in the “hazardous” range for much of the day. Communities further from the parks are also feeling air quality impacts. Track your local air quality at www.fire.airnow.gov.
For updates on the KNP Complex, follow https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7838/.