Updated September 11 – Active wildfires caused by a significant lightning storm on Thursday are growing and have potential to affect park infrastructure and resources. The parks are aggressively attacking these fires to suppress them. The Cabin Fire reached approximately two acres and is largely contained, the Colony and Paradise Fires are in much steeper and dangerous terrain and are being attacked by numerous aircraft resources with water and retardant to slow the rate of spread. The Colony Fire grew from four acres to 72 acres overnight with zero percent containment. Paradise Fire is now approximately 32 acres in size with zero percent containment.
The Generals Highway closed today at 1:00 p.m. to uphill traffic from the Sequoia Entrance Station to the Giant Forest Museum. This portion of the Generals Highway will close to all visitor traffic tomorrow, September 12 at 6:00 a.m. Potwisha Campground is closing this evening due to proximity to the Paradise and Colony Fires. Yesterday, Crystal Cave and Crystal Cave Road were closed due to proximity to the Colony Fire. Buckeye Flat Campground was also closed yesterday due to proximity to the Paradise Fire. These areas will remain closed until the fire threat is diminished. More closures may be necessary in the coming days.
The Kings Canyon entrance from Highway 180 remains open. The Generals Highway is open between the Kings Canyon entrance and the Giant Forest Museum in Sequoia National Park until further notice.
Reservation holders for Crystal Cave, Buckeye Flat Campground, and Potwisha 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, poor air quality, firefighters, and may see active fire from certain vista points.
Numerous aircraft have been assigned to the fires over the last two days including an air attack, six air tankers, two Type 1 helicopters, two Type 2 helicopters, and one Type 3 helicopter. Two more helicopters have been ordered to assist with suppression. The parks have received assistance from the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, and have resources coming from Yosemite National Park, with more assistance expected.
Due to high fuels, low moisture levels, and limited resources, large spread is possible for these fires and local residents are encouraged to track updates through InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7838/.