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French Fire in Madera County Information for Saturday, August 2, 2014

Click here for Information from Friday, August 1, 2014


Update for 7:40 P.M. 

Incident Overview

An update on acreage will be released in the morning fire update after a mapping flight is conducted tonight.

Cause of the French Fire Released, Public’s Help Needed.

An investigation has concluded, that an abandoned campfire near the Rock Creek Campground was the cause of the French Fire on the Bass Lake Ranger District of the Sierra National Forest. The abandoned campfire was located towards the bottom of Rock Creek Road, near the San Joaquin River, as shown in the map below. Investigators believe a long log was left in the campfire, extending into nearby pine needles. As the log burned and reached the pine needles, the fire extended into the forest starting the French Fire.

For just this reason, a Forest Order has been in place since June 25, 2014 restricting campfires in the Sierra National Forest, to help prevent just such an incident given the extreme drought conditions existing on the Forest. Campfires were not permitted unless they were in a designated campground during the time of the incident. “It is an unfortunate and unnecessary loss for all of us, that due to the irresponsible actions of a few, a portion of a national treasure has been lost, not to mention putting lives and homes at risk” said Dean Gould, Forest Supervisor, Sierra National Forest. To date, close to 12,000 acres have burned, at an incident response cost of 8 million dollars to date, which does not include the value of resources or property lost or damaged.

Investigators with the Sierra National Forest are asking for the public’s help for information about anyone who was seen in the area of Rock Creek Road near the San Joaquin River on during the afternoon or evening of Sunday July 27.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the French Fire Information line at 559-877-2605.


Basic Information

Current as of 8/2/2014 7:35:35 PM
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Abandon Campfire
Date of Origin Monday July 28th, 2014 approx. 05:45 AM
Location Mammoth Pool
Incident Commander Dave Cooper

Current Situation

Total Personnel 1,763
Size 11,466 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 15%
Fuels Involved Timber with some brushy areas

Significant Events The north and northeastern parts of the fire continue to be areas with largest growth. The northeastern perimeter has extended to the western shore of Mammoth Pool, just north of the boat ramp.

Outlook

Planned Actions Structure defense in the Hogue Ranch, Kinsman Flat, and Arnold Meadows area will continue to be the primary objective.

Projected Incident Activity Perimeter will continue to grow on the north and west sides of the fire.

Remarks The firing operations in the San Joaquin River are scheduled for completion tonight. Another firing operation is planned for the area around Wagners Mammoth Pool Resort.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns Increasing clouds overnight with smoke settling in the canyon.


Update: 7:12 A.M. 

11,466 Acres with 15% Containment

Basic Information

Current as of 8/2/2014 7:03:11 AM
Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Monday July 28th, 2014 approx. 05:45 AM
Location Rock Creek Drainage
Incident Commander Dave Cooper

Current Situation

Total Personnel 1,560
Size 11,466 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained 15%
Fuels Involved Timber with some brushy areas

Significant Events Last night's infrared shows that the northern, northeastern, and western division M,X & Y perimeters were the largest areas of growth. The northeastern perimeter has extended to the western shore of Mammoth Pool, just north of the boat ramp.

Outlook

Planned Actions Structure defense in the Hogue Ranch, Kinsman Flat, and Arnold Meadows area will continue to be the primary objective.

Projected Incident Activity Perimeter will continue to grow on the north and west sides of the fire.

Remarks Today fire activity was moderate until about 2:00 PM. As the afternoon progressed, fire activity picked up as the wind and topography aligned. The north and northwest parts of the fire exhibited extreme fire behavior with rapid rates of spread. The fire crossed Shakeflat Creek and is moving north. Crews will work through the night on building containments lines on the northern perimeter of the fire.

The burning operation was again successful on the southern edge of the fire.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns Hot temperatures with smoky conditions until afternoon.



Map of the French Fire for Saturday, August 2, 2014

'Click' here to view larger map

IAP-French-Fire-822014