Smoke reports continue in Castle Fire area

Ben Irwin

Despite being contained in January not all flames have been extinguished, allowing smoke to build

SPRINGVILLE – While one of the county’s largest ever forest fires was declared contained in January, it is not fully extinguished.

The U.S. Forest Service announced on Monday that reports of smoke seen from treetops in the Castle Fire are have continued to come in. A few weeks ago, a giant sequoia emitted smoke from its trunk several hundred feet in the air, a forest service press release stated. Last week, a very tall fir tree was found burning along Redwood Drive, and there have been quite a few trees found smoldering deep inside the fire’s boundary.

“Precipitation continues to be sparse,” Western Divide District Ranger Eric LaPrice said. “With persistent warm and dry weather, residents and travelers passing through the burned area should expect to see an occasional smoldering treetop within the fire perimeter. Fire officials ask that any smoke observed along the fire’s edge or within a community be reported to your local fire station or by calling 911. Response to the fire will be determined based on weather conditions and fire personnel, and the public’s safety.

The Castle Fire burned across thousands of acres in the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument. Lands managed by the Sequoia National Forest between Camp Nelson and Ponderosa communities remain closed under a Forest Closure Order. All travelers along Highway 190 or Redwood Drive thru the fire area should use extreme caution when driving. Be aware of potential safety hazards such as fire weakened trees, falling rocks, mud, and debris washed down from steep banks.

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