Wildfire Incident Report

Prepared: Friday, October 22, 2021 12:21:53 AM PDT

Wildfire Incident Report


Fire, Weather & Avalanche Center
La Grande, OR, USA
www.fireweatheravalanche.org
Incident #
2021-NWCG-7841
FWAC Incident ID
212047
Incident Name
Windy Fire
Last Updated
Friday, October 22, 2021 12:00 AM PDT
(21 mins, 45 secs ago)
Fire Reported
Thursday, September 9, 2021 10:45 AM PDT
(1 month ago)
State
California
Incident Type
Wildfire
Location
21.9 miles E of Porterville, CA
Current Weather
Fire Growth Potential
Fire Weather Forecast
Incident Overview

This lightning-caused fire was detected on September 9 and is burning in the Tule River Indian Reservation, the Sequoia National Forest (including the Giant Sequoia National Monument), and Tulare County and state responsibility areas. The Windy Fire is being managed by a local Type 3 organization, operating under unified command by the Tule River Reservation and Sequoia National Forest.
As of Thursday morning, the Windy Fire is approximately 97,554 acres (no increase from the Wednesday morning estimate) and 91 percent contained. Two sections of the fire perimeter are still uncontained, on the west and north sides. These are in very rugged, remote areas where it is too hazardous for fire personnel to dig fire lines along the fire edge. These areas are being monitored by aircraft (some with infrared sensors) and by field observers on the ground. Aircraft and fire personnel can respond quickly if a flare-up occurs near the edge.
Work continues on the fire, including monitoring for heat in critical areas and repair of damage caused by the fire suppression activities. With a forecast of heavy rain moving into the area this weekend, some repair projects are being prioritized to reduce the chances of road wash-outs and localized flooding due to runoff from the dozer lines  and other areas disturbed by fire suppression activities. 

SPECIAL NOTEEveryone near and downstream from the burned areas should remain alert and stay updated on weather conditions that may result in heavy rains over the burn scars. Flash flooding may occur quickly during heavy rain events-be prepared to take action. Current weather and emergency notifications can be found at the National Weather Service websites: www.weather.gov/sto/ and www.weather.gov/hnx.

Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams are working to evaluate damage from the Windy Fire on federal lands. For information about their work: Windy Post-Fire BAER

Daily Update Videos
New daily update videos are no longer being produced for the Windy Fire. Previous video updates related to fire operations, weather, smoke outlook, and fire behavior may be viewed on either link below:

Facebook: Sequoia National Forest
YouTube: Great Basin IIMT 6 
Sequoia National Forest Closure:

National Forest System lands, roads, and trails near the Windy Fire are closed. Go to Alerts and Notices on the Sequoia National Forest website to ensure you are viewing the most current closure order and map. Hunting on Sequoia National Forest lands is allowed outside the closure area.

Evacuations and Road Closures:
The Tulare County Sheriff lifted all evacuations related to the Windy Fire on October 13. Roadblocks remain at Western Divide Highway (M107) near Ponderosa, M99 at Lloyd Meadow Road, and Parker Pass (M50) at Parker Meadow above California Hot Springs.

Emergency Notification Alerts:
Tulare County residents can sign up for AlertTC to receive emergency alert notifications and other time-sensitive messages.

Incident Type
Wildfire
Cause
Lightning
Date of Origin
Thursday September 09th, 2021 approx. 05:45 PM
Location
A quarter mile southeast of Cholollo campground and two miles south of Camp Nelson.
Incident Commander
Christopher Morales, Incident Commander
Incident Description
Type 3
Coordinates
36.047, -118.631
Total Personnel
281
Size (Acres)
97,554
Containment
91%
Estimated Containment Date
Monday November 01st, 2021 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved
Timber (Grass and Understory)
Timber (Litter and Understory)
Brush (2 feet)

* Fuels consist of brush and timber with an understory and grass component

* The fire generally remains bordered by the 2020 Castle Fire, 2017 Pier Fire, and 2002 McNally Fire footprints.

* Thick stands of timber dominate the highest elevations.

* On the east side, there is a significant component of brush and large dead and down trees within burn scars.

* On the west side, lighter, livestock-altered vegetation has reduced the overall fine-fuel loading.

* Live woody fuel moisture is currently averaging around 60-70%. Grass fuels are fully cured.
Significant Events
Minimal
Creeping
Smoldering
Planned Actions
East Flank: Patrol and mop up to the extent necessary to keep the fire within containment lines. Implement suppression repair throughout where actions do not compromise control lines. Monitor open fireline for signs of heat or fire spread that could threaten containment lines. Snag roads to increase access and safety for firefighters.
South Flank: Patrol and mop up to the extent necessary to keep the fire within containment lines. Implement suppression repair throughout where actions do not compromise control lines. Snag roads to increase access and safety for firefighters.
West Flank: Patrol and mop up to the extent necessary to keep the fire within containment lines. Implement suppression repair throughout where actions do not compromise control lines. Monitor open fireline for signs of heat or fire spread that could threaten containment lines. Snag roads to increase access and safety for firefighters.
North Flank: Patrol and mop up to the extent necessary to keep the fire within containment lines. Implement suppression repair throughout where actions do not compromise control lines. Monitor open fireline for signs of heat or fire spread that could threaten containment lines. Snag roads to increase access and safety for firefighters.
Projected Incident Activity
12 hours: Minimal fire behavior with creeping and smoldering. Heavier fuels in timber stands and previous burns will continue to burn at low intensity with little to no spread. Expecting fair to good overnight humidity recovery.

24 hours: Friday, minimal fire behavior expected with creeping and smoldering. Heavier fuels in timber stands and previous burns will continue to burn at low intensity with little to no spread. Low potential for active fire spread should fire breach containment lines. Cooler temperatures and moderate relative humidity today. Light winds expected.

48 hours: Saturday, minimal to moderate fire behavior expected with increased chance of Moisture likely.

72 hours: Minimal to moderate fire behavior expected with significant potential for precipitation. Flash flood watch in effect.

Anticipated after 72 hours: Flash flood watch likely will minimize fire spread.
Weather Concerns
Thursday's Observed as of 3:00 p.m.: Maximum temperatures were in the lower 60s to lower 70s across most of the fire area and in the mid to upper 70s in the Kern River Valley. Minimum relative humidity values were generally in the 19 to 24 percent range, with values in the 15 to 17 percent range in the Kern River Valley. Maximum sustained 20-foot winds were 5 at 9 mph. Maximum gusts were 17-20 mph in the Kern River Valley.
Friday's Forecast: Partly cloudy and cooler. A slight chance (10 percent) of showers. Maximum temperatures will top out in the upper 50s to upper 60s across most of the fire area, with lower 70s along the eastern slopes and the Kern River Valley. Minimum relative humidity values will be between 23 and 28 percent across most of the fire area, with values in the 14 to 19 percent range along the eastern slopes and the Kern River Valley. Winds will be downslope/downvalley 2 to 7 mph through 10:00 a.m., then upslope/upvalley to west-northwest at 7 to 12 mph through the afternoon hours. Afternoon gusts will be around 20 mph, except gusts to 20-25 mph along the Kern River.
Outlook - Saturday through Monday: A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the Windy Burn Scar area from 11:00 a.m. Sunday through Monday evening. There will be a slight chance of showers (10 percent) Saturday, increasing to a 60 percent chance of showers Sunday and then a 90 percent chance of rain Sunday night and Monday. Storm total rainfall amounts Sunday and Monday will likely be between 1 and 2 inches and potentially up to 3 inches. Snow levels will start off on Sunday between 9,000 and 10,000 feet, lowering to 7,000 feet Monday afternoon and Monday night. 3-6 inches of snowfall will be possible above 7,000 feet late Monday into early Tuesday. Gusty west-northwest winds are also expected Monday, with sustained wind speeds around 15 mph, gusting to 25-30 mph. High temperatures will be in the 50s to mid 60s Saturday and Sunday and in the upper 30s to lower 50s Monday. Increasing humidity values are expected through the outlook period.
Incident Contact
Public Information Line
Email: 2021.windy@firenet.gov
Phone: 559-791-8827
Hours: Daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fire Unit Information
Sequoia National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
1839 S. Newcomb St
Porterville, CA 93257
Incident Map

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