Cedar Fire | California | Aug 20, 2016

INCIDENT SUMMARY

Helicopter preparing for bucket drops

Helicopter preparing for bucket drops. (Courtesy: Inciweb)

Start Date / Time

The Cedar Fire started on August 16, 2016, at 1630 hours from an unknown cause.

Location

The fire is burning near Cedar Creek on the Greenhorn Mountains above Wofford Heights near Lake Isabella on the Sequoia National Forest of the Kern River Ranger District.

Current Fire Status

Via Inciweb:

Smoke persisted over the fire area most of the day, providing shade that helped raise relative humidity and slow fire growth. The acreage increase—approximately 1,200 acres—was the smallest increment since the fire started. On the west perimeter, the fire crossed Sandy Creek Road in several places.

Building direct line to contain these stringers of fire was not possible, but firefighters today scouted a route where a dozer line can be constructed toward Telephone Ridge to protect ranches and homes south of Sandy Creek Road.

Structure protection continued in the Panorama Heights area on the west side, with firefighters using dozer lines, hose lays, and retardant drops to protect homes that might be in the fire’s path.

Firefighters built line around a two-acre spot fire near Tobias Peak. A contingency line, consisting of dozer and handline, from Tobias Meadow to Baker Point was expected to be completed tonight. Tonight, firefighters will aim to check fire growth, so that contingency lines can continue to be built away from the fire’s leading edges.

The fire has moved out of areas of heavy beetle-killed trees on the east and south sides. But with all vegetation remaining dry and drought-stressed, active fire behavior and smoke are expected overnight. The intense fire behavior and threat of weakened and dead trees falling in burned and unburned areas remain hazardous for firefighters, limiting their ability to work close to the fire’s edge.

Weather 

The slight chance of thunderstorms predicted for the fire area today failed to materialize, with no storms developing closer than 30 miles away. Dry weather and partly cloudy skies are expected overnight, with maximum relative humidity expected to reach 30 to 40 percent. Terrain-driven winds will prevail, with westerly ridge winds to around 10 mph in the early evening, becoming northwest overnight.

COMMAND

Incident Commanders Mike Minton, California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 representing the U.S. Forest Service, and Bill Steers, Kern County.

RESOURCES

Fire Response

There are currently 1,197 firefighters.

Equipment / Resources

24 hand crews, 85 engines, 13 helicopters, 17 dozers, 21 water tenders.

EVACUATIONS / SHELTER RESOURCES

Precautionary Evacuations (Prepare to Leave in Future)

  • Pala Ranches
  • Homestead Tract
  • Residences north of Anchorage Road

Recommended Evacuation Order (Fire is an imminent Threat. Leave, Shelter Away Fire)

  • Alta Sierra
  • Slick Rock
  • Shirley Meadows

Mandatory Evacuations

  • Posey
  • Pine Flat
  • Pine Mountain
  • Sugarloaf, including Sugarloaf Mountain Park and Sugarloaf Village
  • California Hot Springs
  • Panorama Heights
  • McClenny Tract
  • Spear Creek Mountain Homes
  • White River Summer Homes
  • Portuguese Meadow
  • Balance Rock
  • Idlewild
  • Poso Park

Evacuation Shelters

People Shelters

  • St. Jude’s Catholic Church, Wofford Heights (open 24 hours a day)
  • First Baptist Church of Lake Isabella, 3701 Suhre St., Lake Isabella

Pets & People (Small Animals)

  • Granite Hills High School in Porterville (1701 E. Putnam Ave). The shelter can accommodate cats, dogs and other small pets.

Pets & People (Large Animals / Livestock)

  • Evacuees with large animals and livestock can contact Terry Way’s Ranch and Equine Rescue at 918-541-3572 (416 N. Anderson Way, Exeter).

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT

Cost-To-Date

$8 Million.

PUBLIC INFORMATION

Fire Info Meetings

California Interagency Incident Management Team 5 and Kern County Fire Department personnel, with representatives from the Sequoia National Forest and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, will provide fire updates and answer questions at two public meetings on Sunday, August 21:

  • Linns Valley-Poso Flat Elementary School, 158 White River Rd., Glennville, at 5 p.m.
  • Ducor Union Elementary School cafeteria, 23761 Ave. 56, Ducor, at 7:30 p.m.

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