KERNVILLE (CBS SF) — Firefighters attempted to halt the advance of the massive Seqouia Complex Fire Monday as it approached the rural mountain communities of Alpine Village, Sequoia Crest and Doyle Springs.
The blaze burning in Tulare County and near Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks has grown to more than 90,845 acres, has injured 12 people, destroyed at least 62 structures including homes and was just 12 percent contained.
The complex consists of the Castle Fire which was at 90,093 acres on Monday and the Shotgun Fire was at 752 acres.
On Sunday, Cal Fire took over battling the west side of the fire while federal firefighters will focus on the eastern edge of the blaze. There were currently 764 firefighters manning the fire lines.
“We understand the news about lost structures, people’s homes, is difficult to hear,” said Sequoia National Forest Supervisor Teresa Benson. “We are asking for the public’s patience as the safety of firefighter’s lives is paramount. As soon as it is safe, affected communities will be assessed and property owners notified by county officials.”
Fire officials said the Castle Fire made a significant run over the weekend. Over 30 hours, the blaze made an 11-mile run.
“The fire gained momentum…with strong easterly winds pushing the fire down drainages towards the west with very rapid rates of spread,” fire officials said. “The fire was intensely impacting those communities. Wind speeds of over 60 mph impacted the ability to use aerial resources until mid-morning.”
The Jordan Peak Communication Tower was impacted just after midnight Sunday. Structure protection was also underway in Alpine Village, and being attempted in Sequoia Crest and Doyle Springs.
“Late Sunday, firefighters were able to get into the Alpine Village area to provide protection to structures that had not been impacted,” fire officials said. “Due to remaining heat and impacted roadways in Sequoia Crest, resources were not able to get in to this community.”