French Fire burns 22,030 acres, 19 percent contained

French Fire burns 22,030 acres, 19 percent containedUS Forest Service–

The French Fire, started on Wednesday, August 18, west of Lake Isabella, has now burned 20,678 acres with 19 percent containment. The fire is being managed by California Interagency Incident Management Team 12, coordinating closely with the Bureau of Land Management, Sequoia National Forest, and Kern County Fire Department in Unified Command.

As of Tuesday, August 24, wind and terrain aligned, allowing the fire to make several uphill runs in the Alta Sierra, Shirley Creek, Ice House Creek, and Cane Creek areas. The fire pushed east towards Pala Ranches and Wofford Heights. Fire crews shifted to rapid rescue in Alta Sierra and Wofford Heights since several residents were still present. Fire engine personnel and helicopters focused on structure protection.

There is a team in place to assess structure and property damage. This process will take time, as there is still active fire that presents a danger to the personnel working on the assessment.

The Alta Sierra and Shirley Meadows areas have not experienced fire for several years, which adds to the drought-stressed, bug-killed fuels and weather conditions assisting with the fire spread.

Fires continue to ravage the state of California. The Dixie Fire has now covered 735,064 acres, is 45% contained and has been active for 42 days.

The Dixie Fire has been recorded as the second largest wildfire in state history.

Laura Austin photo: A heavy layer of smoke veils the Sierra Nevada and surrounding ranges as well as the valley floor. There have been cases reported of pulmonary irritation. The dense smoke has covered the area for several weeks.

Story First Published: 2021-08-27