It took more than three months and a few big rain and snowstorms, but the KNP wildfire complex in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks has been declared fully contained. However, it still hasn’t come out and could catch fire on the road.
Fire management personnel from both parks made the announcement Thursday afternoon. The KNP complex is currently measured at 88,307 acres, most of which is in the two national parks. Although the blaze has not increased in recent weeks, it continued to show activity in remote areas, according to a park statement, adding that heavy rainfall in the Sierra Nevada prompted those responsible for the blazes to declare the fire fully under control for the moment.
The KNP complex was ignited by a large lightning event on the night of September 9. Despite immediate and aggressive suppression efforts, the two fires that originally made up the resort merged in the next few days and burned rapidly through a large area of Sequoia National Park, and in Kings Canyon National Park, the National Forest. de Sequoia, Bureau of Land Management lands, and lands under tribal, state, county and private jurisdiction. This fire evacuated many communities, closed off public lands and ultimately killed an estimated 3-5% of the world’s mature giant sequoias population.
Full containment means the fire perimeter is considered safe and no further growth is expected. This differs from a fire declared “extinguished”. The fire can establish itself in heavy fuels, such as large felled trees, and can smolder there from several episodes of heavy snow and rain, or even all winter, and become active again after the dry. zoned. Therefore, it may take a few months or more before the KNP complex is officially declared out of service.
“We hope that the full containment on the KNP complex is a comfort not only to local communities, but to people around the world who care about the parks,” said Leif Mathiesen, deputy head of fire management for the two. parks. “While the onset of winter was the push we needed to achieve full containment, it was thanks to the incredible work of literally thousands of firefighters that we were able to protect and save what we did. We are very grateful to a lot of people.
Significant hazards from the KNP complex remain in many areas of the parks, some of which will not be fully assessed or mitigated until at least spring. National Park Service employees are working hard to reopen areas to public access as it is possible and responsible to do so. For regularly updated information on accessible areas and services, visit go.nps.gov/sekiconditions.