French Fire incident update

July 31, 2014 

French Fire Location: The fire is burning in the area between Rock Creek and Fish Creek campgrounds, in the San Joaquin River drainage, Bass Lake Ranger District, in the Sierra National Forest.

Acres Burned: 5,600

Structures Threatened: 34

Structures Destroyed: 0

Containment: 0%

Fire Started: July 28, 2014

Injuries: 0

Cause: Under investigation

Total personnel assigned to the Fire: 536

Summary: Fire crews were able to establish an anchor point on the left flank of the south end of the fire in the San Joaquin River Drainage. This anchor point will support the operations of structure defense in the Hogue Ranch and Kinsmans Flat area. Fire crews will continue to build containment lines on all sides of the fire using direct and indirect strategies.

The fire is in steep and rugged terrain in the San Joaquin River drainage, which requires hand crews hiking in and being supported by helicopters and air tankers. Thunderstorms are predicted over the higher elevations, which is also a safety concern for firefighters due to erratic winds associated with the weather system.

The French Fire actively burned all night producing large amounts of smoke, which impacted local communities. Smoke is typically greater in the morning and evening hours. Plan outdoor activities for times and places with low smoke levels. Up-slope breezes occur during the day, which will often take smoke into higher elevations. In the evening, these winds change direction and bring smoke down slope to lower elevations.

For more information about smoke impacts, please visit the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Districts website at: http://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm

Evacuations: Several Forest Service and private campgrounds were evacuated yesterday for public safety concerns. Several summer homes in the Hougue Apple Ranch and Wagner’s Resort were also evacuated. The impacted residences were able to make arrangements to stay elsewhere and there was not a need to open any shelters.

Closures:

- Forest Road 4S81 (Minarets Rd) between Arch Rock and Redinger Overlook. - Forest Road 6S01 (Grizzly Rd) between Beasore Rd and Minarets Rd - Forest Campgrounds Closures: Fish Creek, Rock Creek, Soda Springs, Mile High, Lower Chiquito, Windy Point, Sweetwater, China Bar, Placer.

-NPS

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