BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A fire burning east of Lake Isabella has grown to 1,447 acres and is now 55 percent contained, according to the Sequoia National Forest.
Several areas around the fire have also been closed to the public in the Scodie Mountains.
According to the a report by the Sequoia National Forest, helicopters have provided much needed support to fight the flames, since the area remains inaccessible to crews on foot. By dropping water and retardant, firefighters have made substantial process, the report states.
An order was sent by both the Sequoia National Forest and the Kern River Ranger District was sent at about 4:30 p.m on Saturday., stating that the following areas were to be closed to the general public (see image of map area closures above):
- The boundary of the Nicolls Fire Closure Area, which is the boundary of the Kiavah Wilderness on the Sequoia National Forest.
- Any National Forest System trail within the Nicolls Fire Closure Area.
- The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail within the Nicolls Fire Closure Area.
- The National Forest System road within the Nicolls Fire Closure Area.
Those who are exempted from the area closures are any federal, state or local officer that is a member of an organized rescue or firefighting force, and people with a permit from the Forest Service who have specific authorization to be in the area.
The U.S. Forest Service said in the order that any violations will be punishable by a fine of $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for an organization; and/or with imprisonment for up to 6 months.
The Nicolls Fire, which is burning just six miles east of Kelso Creek, hasn't been accessible to fire crews, as steep terrain and the remote location of the fire have made it almost impossible for crews to start the containment process.
The Nicolls fire broke out at about 1:45 p.m. on Friday, July 11. The area closures are in effect until the fire is put out. No evacuations have been ordered for the area.
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