Pier Fire Update, 8:30am, 9/9/17: 50% Containment

Great news on a Saturday morning! 

Size: 25,268 acres

Fire Start: August 29, 2017

Containment: 50 percent

Location: Highway 190, east of Springville

Total Personnel: 1,728

Cause: Human caused, under investigation

Resources: Crews 35, Helicopters 8, Engines 138, Dozers 22, Water Tenders 14

Announcement: This evening, September 9, starting at 6 pm there will be a community meeting at the Porterville College Student Center to update the public on the Pier Fire status, evacuations and road closures.

Fire Summary: Last night firefighters again made good progress along the fire’s perimeter. Crews patrolled and mopped up along the containment line on the western and northern portions of the fire. Additional firing operations from Rogers Camp towards Coy Flat increased and widened the perimeter line to keep fire from moving past it. Additional reinforcement and firing will continue today in those areas.

Firefighters will continue to prepare and improve line on the south edge of the fire on the Tule River Indian Reservation in preparation for a firing operation.

Fire suppression repair (impacts directly caused by firefighting efforts or activity) will begin today on the western and northern portions of the fire.

Weather and Fire Behavior: Low pressure will remain off the California coast over the next couple days. Winds will turn from southwest to a southeast direction over the weekend bringing monsoonal moisture into the fire area for a return threat of thunderstorms. Today’s maximum temperatures 85-92 below 3000 feet, 73-83 at higher elevations. Minimum humidity 23-29% below 3000 feet, 35-40 % at higher elevations. Winds will generally be upslope 3-6 mph gusting to around 15 mph after 1200. Surrounding ridges will see southeast to southwest winds 4-7 mph.

Evacuations: Tulare County has two levels of evacuations: voluntary and mandatory. Mandatory evacuations are issued when the fire poses an imminent threat to life and property. There are currently no voluntary evacuations.

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

Evacuation Center: As of 8 pm last evening the Red Cross shelter in Porterville was closed, there were no longer any evacuees that were sheltered at that location.

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:

Cow Mountain Road at its intersection with Rio Vista Road.

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.


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 9/9/2017, 8:19:21 AM

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 1,728

Size 25,268 Acres

Percent of Perimeter Contained 50%

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 

Diminishing relative humidity recovery led to active surface fire in the heavier fuels at higher elevations. Isolated pockets of vegetation were creeping and smoldering throughout the day at lower elevations. Rollout diminished along steep terrain as fuels are consuming completely


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.


The voluntary evacuation order for the Upper Rio Vista Area was rescinded today.


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