SQF Complex no longer poses an imminent threat to the Mineral King valley or the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River drainage

SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. November 2, 2020 – With containment increasing across area fires, the wilderness closures in Sequoia National Park are being reduced in size to allow for more access. The SQF Complex no longer poses an imminent threat to the Mineral King valley or the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River drainage. The Rattlesnake Fire growth has not shown new growth to the north and east and has slowed overall to the south and west.

This change in closure rescinds and replaces the larger closure of area within Sequoia National Park in the Kaweah, Tule, and Kern River drainages enacted September 30, 2020. A map and description of the new closure area is attached with this news release.

As of September 20th, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are outside of the permit quota season. Permits are still required for all overnight wilderness travel, and they can be self-issued at self-issue stations located throughout the parks.

“These free permits are extremely important this time of year due to variable weather conditions,” said Erik Frenzel, Wilderness Coordinator for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. “Self-reliance and preparedness for the unexpected is of the utmost importance.”

In the areas that remain closed, hazardous conditions persist within and around the fires, including open flames, smoldering fuels, rolling rocks and logs, tree hazards, and firefighting activities.

“Despite this long fire year, we’ve reached a point where we can safely open more of the wilderness,” shared John Ziegler, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Fire Management Officer. “Please be respectful of the remaining closures for your safety and that of our firefighting resources.”

These changes in wilderness closures coincides with the changes in wilderness and area closures announced by the Inyo National Forest. For more information about these changes, especially if your route takes you to or from the Inyo National Forest, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/inyo/

Fire restrictions are in effect for areas within both Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and the surrounding National Forest lands. Please be sure to check each jurisdictions’ website before starting your trip as fire restrictions may be different.

For more information and the latest information, please visit the parks’ current conditions webpage at https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

A downloadable copy of the Determination to Change Closure Document (PDF – 2.3 MB)

PDF version of this news release (PDF – 230 KB)

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