Fish Fire near Porterville burning 1,450 acres, 7% contained, supplies packed in by mule and horse

SPRINGVILLE, Calif. - The Fish Fire grew 450 acres Sunday, fire officials said.

Fifty miles northeast of Springville, the fire is burning 1,450 acres and is only 7 percent contained, fire officials said.

A change in the weather is expected beginning tomorrow when afternoon and evening thunderstorms and a chance of rain are in the forecast, fire officials said.

Crews have constructed 3.5 miles of fire line in remote areas with limited resources, fire officials said.

Supplies including food and water must either be flown in by helicopter or carried in by pack strings of horses and mules, fire officials said.

It is a priority of fire managers to maintain the qualities of the wilderness area. Fire crews have been instructed on special tactics to reduce their impact on the environment while keeping safety as their number one priority. Point protection of the structures located in Trout Meadows will be completed by fire crews today.

The Fish Fire was discovered in the Golden Trout Wilderness on the Sequoia National Forest on August 23.

The cause of the fire is lightning from the storms on August 18 and 19. The fire is burning in a remote area with few natural barriers to stop fire spread. 

An area closure will soon be in place in the Golden Trout Wilderness between Burnt Corral Meadow and the Kern River, south of the Kern Ranger Station in neighboring Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Backcountry users planning trips to the Golden Trout Wilderness are asked to call the Western Divide Ranger District at 559-539-2607 ext. -0- for latest information on trail closures.

Fire personnel currently assigned to the Fish Fire include four helicopters, and three hot shot crews, and four hand crews.

Additional resources have been ordered to assist with containment of the fire although competition for resources is high due to the large amount of fire activity in the western United States.

Fire resources are dispatched to fires where lives and structures are most threatened.

“The safety of the public and our firefighters is our number one priority followed closely by the preservation of the Golden Trout Wilderness Area,” Incident Commander Matt Reidy said.

The public is asked to slow down and remain alert while driving in the area due to an increase in traffic between Porterville and the Peppermint Heliport resulting from fire response vehicles.

Residents of the Kern River Valley are being affected by smoke from the Fish Fire; smoke typically flows down the Kern River Canyon from fires in the Wilderness.

Smoke concentrations can be avoided. Close windows, doors, and outside vents when it is smoky to prevent accumulations indoors. Run your air conditioner, if you have one. Keep the fresh air intake closed and keep the filter clean. Ventilate your home and work place during periods of little smoke. Avoid physical activities while smoke is dense.

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