(Photo courtesy: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks)
(KMJ) – Mandatory evacuation orders have now been given for parts of eastern Tulare County as a pair of wild fires have now combined into one blaze.
The National Park Service says the Colony Fire, burning in the Yucca Drainage near Crystal Cave Road, has reached between 207 acres burned thus far. Firefighters say dead trees are a major concern and the fire remains at 0% contained.
The Paradise Fire, also burning in the Sequoia National Park, is located south of the Kaweah River and is said to potentially affect both park resources and infrastructure. According to the Park Service, the Paradise Fire has reached 807 acres burned and also remains at 0% containment.
Those two fires were sparked by lightning on September 10th and have combined into what’s now labeled the KNP Complex Fire
Now, Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux says people living in the Silver City and Cabin Cove areas of Mineral King Road must evacuate.
“A Mandatory Evacuation Order means there is immediate threat to life and/or property,” the Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook. “Those who live in these areas must leave now.”
The Exeter Memorial Building is set up as a temporary evacuation point for those being forced from their homes. Its address is 324 N Kaweah Avenue in Exeter.
But, as this point, the National Park Service says Highway 180 remains open to traffic.