Jordan fire winding down; two more fires begin

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Jordan fire winding down;  two more fires beginThe Jordan Fire, burning in the Sequoia and Inyo National Forests just south and west of Lone Pine, was nearing containment at press time, according to the final incident report released this week by the Inyo National Forest Service.

The June 16 report released by Incident Commander Todd McDivitt noted that officials were able to determine that the wildfire was caused by lightning. None of the historic structures at Jordan Hot Springs were lost in the fire.

“The fire has remained at 523 acres for the past two days due to completed fire control lines and reduced behavior,” reads the report.

“With fire line construction complete, crews continue to extinguish hot spots adjacent to the line with the aid of water-dropping helicopters. Continued warm and dry weather cautions fire managers to keep a limited number of firefighters on the fire to guard against increased fire activity.

“Fire crews no longer required on the Jordan Fire are being flown back to Lone Pine Incident Command Post to start the demobilization process. After showers, clean uniforms and necessary paperwork, crews will be released to head home to rest and prepare for their next assignment.”

For more details see https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6384/.

Lightning storms also caused two more fires in the Sequoia National Forest — one triggered Tuesday afternoon, the other beginning Wednesday morning.

According to the Kern River Ranger District, the Bald Fire, discovered June 17, was contained to a single tree at an elevation of 8,200 feet in a steep rocky terrain.

The Lost Fire, discovered June 18, was burning a slope north of Dead Horse Meadow. “The fire is burning in the upper third of the slope at a slow rate of spread in brush and timber at 8,200 feet in elevation,” reported KRRD.

“Forest Service personnel are assessing a suppression strategy that will ensure firefighter safety while providing a high probability of successful containment.”

Historically, summers following atypically wet winters — such as the one experienced this season — yield especially dangerous fire seasons.

Fire officials blame historic droughts and bark beetle infestations that result in dead and dying trees, creating “large fuels” for wildfires. Abundant rains bring undergrowth in the spring, but once it dies in the summer those serve as “small fuels” that kindle and spread large-scale fires.

For tips on reducing fire risk, see https://calfire.ca.gov/fire_prevention/fire_prevention.

Pictured: Incident Commander Todd McDivitt (left) and Don Shoemaker discuss Jordan Fire tactics — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2019-06-21