Wildfire in Sequoia National Forest now threatens 1,000 homes

A growing wildfire burning in the Sequoia National Forest now threatens 1,000 homes, power lines and communication facilities in the area, officials said Monday.

The Shirley fire, which is only 10% contained, has burned at least 2,200 acres in the Kern County forest since Saturday, destroying three homes and damaging one other, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

More than 1,100 firefighters have been battling the fire, which has been fueled by dry brush and high winds.

Overnight water drops have helped firefighters combat the blaze, which breached a containment line on the ground.


An air tanker assigned to the fire experienced a nose-gear collapse while landing Sunday night at an airport in Fresno, according to the Forest Service. The tanker was damaged but the crew was not injured.

A Red Cross evacuation center in Lake Isabella housed five evacuees Sunday night, according to the Forest Service.

Evacuation orders remain in effect for homes in Pala Ranches, Juniper Highlands and between Old State Road and Evans Road on Hwy 155.

Forest Service officials have called a meeting for 7 p.m. Monday at Faith Community Church in Wofford Heights.


The following road closures remained in effect Monday:

  • Rancheria Road between Highway 155 and Sawmill Road
  • Wagy Flat Road between Old State Road and the forest boundary three miles south
  • Sawmill Road from its end near Rancheria Road to six miles east at the forest border
  • Alder Creek Road from the Alder Creek campground to Rancheria Road
  • Highway 155 is closed between Woody to the west and Wofford Heights to the east, cutting off a main east-west route through the forest.

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