Lightning and human sources appear to have set off two new fires, dubbed the Eshom and Atwell fires, which are being actively suppressed by fire crews in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The Eshom Fire, in Kings Canyon National Park near Big Spring, was seven acres as of Friday. The parks-based Arrowhead Hotshots, the Horseshoe Hotshots, Engine 31, Engine 32 and Helicopter 522 crew from Sequoia National Forest are all committed to working on the blazes.
The Eshom Fire was detected the morning of Thursday, Sept. 30, is believed to be human-caused and is currently under investigation. This fire is near private developments along the park’s western boundary and is contained. Crews were continuing to “mop-up” this weekend, cooling and controlling hot areas along the fire’s edge that may threaten the containment line. The steep terrain, however, was presenting a challenge to firefighters.
The Atwell Fire, in Sequoia National Park, is a lightning-caused fire that was one-quarter of an acre in size on Friday. It was discovered late on Thursday, Sept. 30. The fire started below the Mineral King Road and near park developments, including the park stables and ranger station, as well as nearby private communities.
Officers with Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Engine 1160 company, which is providing coverage to Sequoia National Park while Engine 72 was committed to the Sheep Fire, estimated they would have this fire contained by end of day Friday, Oct. 1.
Cedar Grove, Hume Lake smokes advisories lifted
Smoke advisories previously issued for Cedar Grove, Hume Lake and locations within the Kings Canyon National Park area were lifted effective Friday, Oct. 1, based upon improved air quality conditions. The Sheep Fire is located in Kings Canyon National Park and the Sequoia National Forest in the southern cliffs above Cedar Grove. Smoke from this fire has been impacting the communities of Cedar Grove, Hume Lake and other Kings Canyon locales.
National Parks Service officials report that firefighters have made so much progress containing growth in the fire’s western flank that smoke has significantly diminished over the last several days. They are still advising that visitors to these areas should still expect to see lingering smoke as interior pockets within the fire perimeter continue to burn and smolder. Persons with sensitivities to smoke should take steps to limit their exposure. –NPS