A significant lightning storm occurred in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the surrounding areas on the evening of September 9, 2021. At this time, three new wildfires ignited by the storm have been discovered within park boundaries. The parks are actively suppressing the fires.
Current suppression actions include hand crews working on the ground and aerial water and retardant drops. The parks are ordering additional resources for suppression actions. The new fires are located in steep, densely forested terrain, and in the current extremely dry conditions, fire management officials in the parks believe the fires have spread potential and could affect operations in the coming days or weeks.
“As we tackle these new fires, we’re continuing to search for additional fires that may have been ignited by the lightning event,” says Chief Ranger Ned Kelleher. “As the moisture that accompanied the storm evaporates in the coming days, we can anticipate discovering additional starts throughout the parks.”
Crystal Cave and Crystal Cave Road were closed on the morning of September 10 due to proximity to the Colony Fire. In the early evening of September 10, Buckeye Flat Campground was closed due to proximity to the Paradise Fire. These areas will remain closed until the fire threat is diminished. At this time, no closures are associated with the Cabin Fire.
Reservation holders for both Crystal Cave and Buckeye Flat Campground will receive notifications and refunds directly from Recreation.gov. Visitors to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in the coming days can expect to encounter smoke, firefighters, and may see active fire from certain vista points. If conditions become unsafe, additional road or area closures may be instituted.