SQF Complex reaches containment, fire area remains closed

Release Date: Jan 6, 2021

SPRINGVILLE, January 6, 2021 – Containment of the SQF Complex reached 100% for the portion of the fire managed by the Sequoia National Forest. Winter conditions are expected to extinguish remaining hot spots. Until the area receives substantial precipitation, those traveling thru the fire area can expect to see pockets of smoke deep inside the fire perimeter.  

Smoldering debris around tree trunks continue to weaken fire-damaged trees, posing a hazard of them falling at any time.  Smoldering stump holes and their roots can be found burning months after a wildfire, posing a hazard for anyone stepping near or on them.  Local firefighters will continue to patrol and monitor the fire's edge, extinguishing hot spots that could spread beyond contained lines. Much work is left to be done on fire suppression repair; heavy equipment is anticipated to return in the spring to continue this effort. 

Forest officials have extended the closure of Sequoia National Forest managed land affected by the Castle Fire through January 31, 2021. Details of the Forest Closure and a map of the closed area can be found on Inciweb https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/7048/58930/

"Once the area receives enough precipitation to fully extinguish remaining hot spots, including duff burning around tree trunks and deep inside stump holes and roots, the Forest Service hopes to re-open the area to the public,” stated District Ranger Eric LaPrice.  “We are all hoping for more rain and snow to assist us in this effort.  In the meantime, thank you for your patience while we keep the area closed to protect the public.”

An Interagency Emergency Task Force continues to prepare for flash floods and debris flow, busily cleaning debris from culverts and drains to minimize impacts. Those traveling thru the fire area on Highway 190 should expect frequent delays at roadblocks where work is ongoing.  Information and resources available to residents affected by the SQF Complex Fire can be found on Tulare Counties website https://tularecounty.ca.gov/recovers/