Fires grow in remote area of national park, containment up

Eden Fire grows to 1,718 acres while Dennison Fire is now at 87 acres in eastern Tulare County


SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS – Dead trees and dry conditions in remote areas of Sequoia National Park are fueling the spread of two wildfires but containment has begun to increase

Started by lightning on Oct. 4 and burning in the John Krebs Wilderness, the Eden Fire area was 1,718 acres as of Saturday, Nov. 24. An infrared flight took place last week and allowed more accurate mapping as the area was shrouded in smoke the past few days. Due to its location, there are currently no threats to life, property, or other assets and containment has reached 30% as of last Saturday.

Located in and adjacent to the Eden Creek Grove of giant sequoias, the terrain is steep and rugged with no access via the ground. The daytime flight observed positive fire effects with no spotting or crown scorch. The fire is working its way through an area that has no modern recorded fire history except for a couple of pockets around twenty acres each.

Currently, the west flank has established itself over the Eden Creek drainage and is slowly backing off the ridge towards Coffeepot Canyon. The south side is not showing any strong behavior as it moves towards the ridge line and Homer’s nose. The fire has slowed its progress to the north towards the East Fork of the Kaweah but has grown towards the east further into the wilderness.

Fire managers were closely watching the storm system that was expected to arrive last Wednesday. Precipitation in the form of rain and / or snow was expected to fall over the fire with up to an inch of water equivalent. With these changes in the weather, smoke dispersion will improve over the next few days. A storm system is expected to arrive in the next few days.

“Gathering information via aircraft is a safe and efficient way to manage this fire,” said Andrew Cremers, incident commander for the Eden Fire. “At the same time, we constantly look at our options in that other types of aircraft could be used to slow the fire’s spread in certain areas with targeted water drops or retardant lines, especially if we are getting undesired fire effects.”

Additionally the Dennison Fire, located east of the Dillonwood Grove at over 8,000 feet in elevation south of the Eden Fire, and also started by lightning is now 87 acres. It too is burning in a remote area of Sequoia National Park and is showing no threats to life or property.

The National Park Service looks for opportunities to not manipulate a natural process. Taking a strategy of not fully suppressing every fire, not only greatly reduces impacts on designated wilderness, but allows for a modern fire history that can help buffer the park and the community from unwanted fire during the hottest and driest parts of the year.

All areas of Sequoia National Park remain open as previously scheduled.

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