USFS

Acreage: 23,764        Containment: 22%    Total Personnel: 1,310

Due to internet connectivity issues last night, there will be a follow-up virtual public meeting this evening, Saturday, August 28, at 6 p.m., streamed on the Sequoia National Forest and shared on Kern County Fire Department and the Bureau of Land Managements’ (California) Facebook sites. For those who cannot join during the live stream, the meeting will remain available through the agencies’ Facebook sites. See the Sequoia National Forest’s Facebook page or the French Fire – Inciweb announcements page for future virtual meeting invites.

The French Fire, started on Wednesday, August 18, west of Lake Isabella in Kern County, has now burned 23,764 acres with 22 percent containment. The fire is being managed by California Interagency Incident Management Team 12, coordinating closely with the Bureau of Land Management, Sequoia National Forest, and Kern County Fire Department in Unified Command.

  • The southeastern edge of the fire near Dutch Flat and along Borderline Road has continued to stay within existing lines, allowing the evacuation order impacting the Dutch Flat, French Gulch, and Achin Hills communities to be downgraded to an Evacuation Warning. Crews continue to mop up and monitor the fire activity along Rancheria Road. Please be cautious of surrounding activities and potential hazards in and around the fire area; fire resources will be active in the area.
  • Most of the smoke production on Friday came from the Basket Ridge area to the east of Rancheria Road, where crews worked a spot fires with support from aircraft. Crews continue to look for opportunities to tie in line, coming down from the fire’s northern edge to the western edge into the Red Mountain area.
  • The fire remains active on the north side threatening communities and associated values at risk in the immediate area, including the Shirley Peak communication hub and the Southern California Edison 66kV sub-transmission lines north of State Route 155. Structure defense is in place and crews were able strengthen handline and dozer line in the Black Mountain area.
  • Firefighters were able to complete a 15,000 ft hose lay off State Route 155 to the south towards Pala Ranches and Wofford Heights.
  • Fire in the southwestern area is currently at Rancheria/Sawmill Road junction, but it could reach the Whites Mill Road later tonight.
  • Strengthening high pressure will bring hotter and very dry conditions to the fire Saturday. High temperatures will climb to near 100 degrees at the lower elevations and afternoon humidity will be around 10 percent. Afternoon winds will generally be from the west, with gusts into the 15-25 mph.

Fire Closures:
The BLM has temporarily closed the Keysville Special Recreation Management Area to all public access due to wildland fire danger.

Forest Fire Area Closure:
Forest Order 0513-21-25 French Fire area Roads and Trails Closure and Map and Forest Order 0513-21-26 Upper Kern Area and Trails Closure and Map To protect visitors, mountain communities, staff and firefighters, Forest Orders 0513-21-25/26 were issued, Saturday, August 21 and Friday, August 27. Please view the full orders with exhibits and maps for more information.

Fire Restrictions:
Public lands managed by the Sequoia National Forest and the BLM Bakersfield Field Office are under Fire Restrictions at this time. The use of propane stoves with an on/off switch is permitted, but campfires are not allowed.