Thunderstorms trigger fires

Thunderstorms trigger firesKERNVILLE — Fire personnel on the Kern River Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest reported updates on the recent lightning fires caused by thunderstorm activity in the area. These include:

• Schaeffer Fire, discovered Sept. 8, at 7:14 a.m., reported by hikers is located in the McNally burn scar, west of Corral Meadow. Tactics are used to control the fire’s rate of spread and to contain by using roads, trails, ridges and natural barriers. Size: 134 acres. Status: Smoke has been drifting east into Kennedy Meadows and Owens Valley.

• Dutch Fire, discovered Sept. 8, at 10:13 a.m., reported by Helicopter 523 during a reconnaissance flight, is located in the old Clover fire scar, south of Dutch John Flat. Fire resources from the Schaeffer fire were immediately dispatched to this fire. H-523 used water drops. Size: 0.33 acre. Status: Declared contained and out as of Sept. 11.

• Broder Fire (result of previous storm) discovered August 8, at 9:02 a.m., reported by individual who walked into Bald Mountain Lookout. Suppression action continues. Resources are using procedures and suppressive tactics that cause less impacts on the land. Size: 381 acres. Status: 70 percent contained.

Fires showing up days, even weeks, after a thunderstorm are referred to as “holdovers” or “sleepers” — a term used by wildland firefighting personnel. For example, trees struck by lightning that spark a fire within the trunk which brews unnoticed for long periods of time are considered sleepers.

For information, contact the Kernville Ranger Station at 760-376-3781.

Pictured: Smoke hovers over the area affected by the Schaeffer Fire. — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2019-09-20