End Of 2011 Fire Season

The Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument (USFS), Tule River Reservation Fire Department (TIA), the Kern County Fire Department (KCFD), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Bakersfield Field Office will officially declare the end of the 2011 wildland fire season on Friday, November 18th.

The good news is fire officials expect seasonal changes to continue as the weather brings cooler temperatures to surrounding areas. These seasonal changes significantly reduce the threat of damaging wildfires throughout our wildland communities; however, homeowners must always stay aware of dry fuels and changes in fire danger, especially when the Santa Ana winds begin to blow. The public is reminded to continue working on hazardous fuel reduction projects around homes and properties and continue to stay prepared throughout the winter season.

This wildland fire season was extremely challenging for local cooperating fire agencies and emergency responders, community members and local businesses; many experienced tremendous loss. Many large fires were due to the exceptionally thick grass that grew due to heavy rainfall in the spring. We also experienced 3 major complex fires simultaneously from a lightning storm that passed through the area in September which caused the activation of an Area Command. We thank all partners and outlying communities and Firesafe Councils for their strong support and we are grateful that no lives were lost!

Fire agencies will remain available to respond to emergencies at all times. However, most seasonal firefighter contracts are ending. At least one KCFD helicopter will remain available throughout the year and remaining fire crews from all agencies will conduct prescribed fires and other fuels projects throughout the winter.

During the 2011 fire season, the Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument along with the Tule River Reservation experienced 95 wildland fires. The Bureau of Land Management Bakersfield Field Office responded to 203 wildland fires and the Kern County Fire Department suppressed over 1400 vegetation fires. A total of 105,646 acres burned throughout Kern County this past fire season.