Big Five Fire causes smoky skies

Staff Writer

The Big Five wildfire continues to burn in the wilderness of Sequoia National Park, with areas of open flame producing moderate amounts of smoke in the Mammoth area. The lightning-caused fire, first reported on June 17th, has continued to grow in size and now has a perimeter of more than 90 acres – of which, only about ½ an acre is actively burning.

The fire is about seven trail miles southeast of the Little Five Lakes Ranger Station and between 15-20 trail miles east of Mineral King Valley, depending on which trail is taken. It is bordered on the east by the Sierra Crest and to the west by the Great Western Divide. Despite recent rains, the fire has proven resilient. Smoke may be visible to those hiking in the central part of the park, particularly in the vicinity of Big Arroyo. As always, hikers are encouraged to pay attention to their surroundings and be alert to any changes in conditions.

Fire is an essential part of the ecosystem and necessary for natural processes as well as the wilderness’ long term health. The Big Five continues to be closely monitored by the park from the air, and because it poses no immediate threat to structures, trails, or visitors, direct suppression will be limited at this time.

Air quality and smoke issues are high priorities for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, and interested parties can visit http://go.nps.gov/sekiair for up-to-date air quality information.

Please visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4308/ for more information and updates.

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