Pier Fire Update, 8pm, 9/7/17

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Size: 24,225 acres 

Fire Start: August 29, 2017
Containment: 35 percent 

Location: Highway 190, east of Springville

Total Personnel: 1,767 

Cause: Human caused, under investigation

Resources: Crews 35, Helicopters 8, Engines 131, Dozers 21, Water Tenders 14 

Photo of Black Mountain back burn this evening, courtesy of Anthony Martin. 

Fire Summary: An increase in containment on the west side of the fire occurred today, and should continue as hot spots cool. Some areas are difficult to access, an infrared flight overnight will assist firefighters in finding hot spots along the fires edge near Wishon Campground. Containment lines near Sequoia Crest are holding. 
The most active part of the fire is near Bateman Ridge and Wilson Creek south of Camp Nelson. Fire crews constructed fireline today and will begin a firing operation along the perimeter between Highway 190 to Rogers Camp. Structure protection crews have been assessing houses and outbuildings and are prepared to defend them. Fireline construction continues in the area of Coy Flat, along Forest Road 21S94 to Rogers Camp. 
The contingency lines from Alpine to Highway 190 are in place. Firing began late today to strategically bring the active fires edge to the established perimeter. Crews will be closely monitoring firing operations and will quickly extinguish any hotspots that threaten the perimeter. 
Firefighters continue to improve and strengthen indirect firelines south of Black Mountain in the Tule River Indian Reservation. On the southwest part of the fire, burning operations above Rio Vista were completed today. This perimeter will continue to be monitored until all hot spots that threaten the line are extinguished. There will be smoky conditions overnight and in the morning due to firing operations. 
Watch today’s operational briefing, with Operations Chief Keith Gurrola on the SQF Facebook Page
Weather and Fire Behavior: Skies will be clear with minimal clouds. There is no prediction of approaching thunderstorms to the area today. Temperatures will be in the mid-80s with the relative humidly in the 30s. Winds will be out of the southwest at 3-6 mph. Slight winds will be focused in the canyons this morning.

Evacuations : Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. A voluntary evacuation means residents should either evacuate or be prepared to do so, should fire conditions worsen. Mandatory evacuations are issued when the fire poses an imminent threat to life and property.

Mandatory: Sequoia Crest, Mountain Aire, Rogers Camp, Pierpoint Springs, Cedar Slope, Camp Nelson, Doyle Springs, Alpine Village, Wishon

Voluntary: Upper Rio Vista, Cow Mountain (Springville area)

Evacuation Center: Porterville College, Student Center, 100 E. College Ave., Porterville. Call 661-324-6427 (weekdays) or 800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Area Closures: Sequoia National Forest trails, roads, and lands around the Pier Fire are closed (Closure Order No. 0513-17-34, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/5548/39662/. CAL FIRE has closed Mountain Home State Forest, and Tulare County has closed Balch Park. All areas are closed until the fire is brought under control. Suppression repair work will take additional time after the fire is contained; recreationists should plan ahead.
Hard Road Closures: The following roads are closed to all traffic:

Highway 190 east of Springville is closed at Upper Rio Vista Road to eastbound traffic.

Highway 190 north of Ponderosa is closed at Forest Road 21S50 to westbound traffic.

Soft Road Closures: The following roads are open only to residents with a photo ID:

Upper Rio Vista Road

Smoke:

Information for the levels of smoke in communities affected by the Pier Fire; http://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/2017/Pier#Main

People with respiratory conditions, young children, and elderly people may be susceptible to adverse effects. Air District officials urge residents to follow their doctor’s advice. For more information, see https://www.cdc.gov/features/wildfires/index.html or http://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm
Basic Information

Current as of 9/7/2017, 7:29:08 PM

Incident Type Wildfire

Cause Under Investigation

Date of Origin Tuesday August 29th, 2017 approx. 02:30 AM

Location Highway 190 at Wishon Road 7 miles East of Springville

Incident Commander Mike Minton, CIIMT5 Jeff McLaughlin (TC), Derek Staberg (CalFire TUU)

Current Situation

Total Personnel 1,767

Size 24,225 Acres

Percent of Perimeter Contained 35%

Fuels Involved 

Dormant Brush, Hardwood slash, timber, including areas affected by tree mortality. Fire is located in a heavy timber mortality area. The southern portion of the fire is burning in a location with little to no recorded fire history.

Significant Events 

By this afternoon, full sun from cloudless skies diminished the effects of relative humidity recovery. Active surface fire was seen in the heavier fuels at higher elevations. Isolated pockets of smoldering vegetation were still observed throughout the day at lower elevations. Rollout diminished along steep terrain as fuels are consuming completely.

Outlook

Planned Actions 

Provide structure protection for threatened communities and infrastructure. Construct direct and indirect containment line where feasible. Plan and construct contingency line.

Projected Incident Activity 

A full suppression strategy is to be implemented on the Pier Fire. Values at risk associated with the incident include human safety, private property, and associated improvements, electrical power infrastructure, Giant Sequoia groves, and cultural values. Minimize acres burned on privately owned and tribal lands. Apply tactics on public lands that offer the highest probability of success.

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