Windy Fire Update: 9-23-21
This press release was published by the USDA Forest Service and Windy Fire Information on September 23rd, 2021.
Current State of the Windy Fire
The Windy Fire is 43,745 acres with 6% containment. The fire is burning on the Tule River Indian Reservation and in the Sequoia National Forest, including the Giant Sequoia National Monument.
The inversion layer lifted and paired with increased winds, which intensified fire activity and expansion on all fronts.
Crews are in place in the threatened communities with structure protection as their top priority.
The fire has impacted several giant sequoia groves. Yesterday, a resource advisor with fire effects experience on giant sequoias from Yosemite National Park visited the Trail of 100 Giants to assess the giant sequoia trees affected by the fire. The expert will continue to evaluate the condition of the trees.
Evacuation and Structure Updates
A new mandatory evacuation order has been given for Camp Nelson and surrounding communities. Existing evacuation orders remain in place.
No privately owned structures have been damaged or lost in Camp Nelson, Ponderosa, and the Tule River Indian Reservation.
However, the Sequoia National Forest did lose the Mule Peak Lookout and the associated radio repeater. They were destroyed in the early stages of the fire under extreme burning conditions and strong winds, despite being wrapped with fire-resistant material.
Evacuation Orders and Road Closures
- Camp Nelson and surrounding communities
- Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow Road (22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, west to M107 and M50.
- Ponderosa and Quaking Aspen. The warning area includes M107 at Dome Rock, north to HWY 190/M90 at North Road (21S50), east to Route 21S05, at Needles Trail, south to Lloyd Meadow at Lower Peppermint Road (22S82). Should you choose to evacuate now, avoid all road closures, and use HWY 190 to Porterville.
- M50 at Tyler Creek (Parker Pass Rd, California Hot Springs Rd.)
- Hwy 190 at Wishon cutoff.
- M99 is closed north of McNally’s Fairview Lodge at 7300 Kern River Highway, north towards Sherman Pass.
Windy Fire Personnel and Damage Stats
Currently at work, there are 41 hand crews, 19 water tenders, 33 bulldozers, 102 engines, and 1,474 total personnel.
The Windy Fire has threatened 1,750 residential structures and 75 commercial structures, and destroyed 2 commercial structures.
Geographic Fire Update and Fire Crew Strategies
The fire expanded on all fronts yesterday before settling in overnight. The fire is trying to back down toward Camp Nelson, now under a mandatory evacuation order.
Firefighting crews are working hard to secure this area, expecting to be aided by the road system, the burn scar of the 2020 Castle Fire, and Coy Flats.
In the south, the fire crossed the 50 Road with spot fires to the southwest. Grass and brush should slow fire spread to the east, allowing firefighters to make a direct attack.
Fire moved towards Redwood Corral before getting hung up on the road system. Redwood Corral and the Parker Peak Sequoia Grove on the Tule River Indian Reservation remain priorities at the western edge of the fire.
On the eastern flank, the fire continued to burn actively but no major growth. Crews in that area will monitor the fire’s edge above Peppermint Ranch and US Forest Service Work Center. Protection for Ponderosa remains a priority. Structural protection groups have been deployed to protect the Johnsondale, Ponderosa, and Camp Nelson communities.
Today will see calmer weather conditions and RH (relative humidity) recovery. Temperatures have cooled to 75-80 degrees with 4-8 mph winds from the west/southwest and gusts up to 14 mph.
Tomorrow morning CIIMT 5 will be taking over management of the Windy Fire at 0700 for the Bureau of Indian Affairs on behalf of the Tule River Indian Tribe, the Sequoia National Forest and Tulare County Fire Department.