Voluntary Evacuation Order for Camp Nelson and Ponderosa As Fire threatens Golden Trout Wilderness Region
SPRINGVILLE, CALI. August 24, 2020 – The Castle Fire on the Western Divide Ranger District, northeast of the mountain community of Ponderosa, has grown to approximately 5,000 acres. The fire continues to move further into the Golden Trout Wilderness on the Sequoia National Forest and is advancing towards the Inyo National Forest.
Today, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux issued a voluntary evacuation notice for the areas of Camp Nelson and Ponderosa. Tulare County Sheriff Office (TCSO) Deputies are going cabin to cabin, letting people know that the fire is growing, and it would be a good idea to leave.
A Forest Closure Order of the Golden Trout Wilderness trails and trailheads is pending. As the fire continues to advance further into the Golden Trout Wilderness, hikers are asked not to enter the area.
The Forest Service is planning a community meeting at Camp Nelson for Tuesday, Aug 25 at 6 pm. More details and location will be announced in tonight’s evening fire update.
Hazardous conditions for firefighters include steep rocky terrain and heavy fuel loads, 100-degree temperatures, erratic fire behavior due to intense afternoon winds. Hand crews, supported by aircraft, are working to stop the fire spread. Several resources are on order to support the firefight for this incident, but availability is limited due to other fires. The Forest is prioritizing firefighting resources to protect life first and then property and infrastructure.
California Interagency Incident Management Team 12 assumed command of the Castle and Shotgun fires, Monday, August 24. The team brings operational leadership, planning group, logistical support, and communications to augment the Forest and impacted communities.
Smoke and widespread air quality impacts from the California wildfires remain the primary weather concern. Additional lightning and thunderstorms are predicted this week, and in response, the Forest is using a combination of fire lookouts, patrols, and aerial detection to search for new fire starts. Visitors are urged to be vigilant about wildfire prevention as hot and dry weather conditions remain throughout the week.
Also, the Shotgun Fire, located where Pistol Creek and Shotgun Creek converge in the Golden Trout Wilderness, has grown to approximately 200 acres.
Visitors to the Forest will continue to see smoke, active fire, and firefighters during the next few days. Please drive slowly and carefully. For information about air quality, smoke conditions, and health effects, visit www.valleyair.org or visit www.airnow.gov.