Sunday, September 27, 2015

Engine 523 Returns Home From the Rough Fire

Sequoia/Kings Canyon Nat'l Park -

On Saturday September 26, 2015, E523 returned home from the Rough Fire. E523 was one of five type III wildland/interface engines in Arizona Strike Team 257C requested on September 10 to the rough fire which was burning on the Sierra Nat'l Forest, Sequoia Nat'l Forest and Sequoia/Kings Canyon Nat'l Park.

When Strike Team 257C arrived, the fire had already been burning for 41 days and had consumed 110,000 acres of forest. Strike Team 257C was quickly put to work near Sequoia Lake, plumbing nearly a half mile of hose on an existing half mile hose-lay and mopping up the fires edge. By day 3, the Strike Team was moved into the park and began assessing and mopping up around the Chicago Stump and throughout Converse Basin. The Chicago Stump is believed to be the largest Giant Sequoia ever to be cut.

Arizona Strike Team 257C checking the wrap on the Chicago Stump and testing the fire sprinklers

By day 7, Strike Team 257C was moved to Grant Grove and was tasked with patrolling and mopping up 5 miles of hose-lay, 200-1000 ft in from the line and would stay there for the remainder of their 14 day tour. The Grant Tree is the second largest tree in the world, standing 267 ft tall, a base diameter of 30 ft and is known as the "Nations Christmas Tree". The General Grant Tree is just under 1,800 years old.

E523 next to the General Grant Tree

By Day 14, The fire had grown to 144,000 acres and was 80 percent contained. On our departing day, the park was opened to the public for Kings Canyon Nat'l Parks 75th anniversary and Sequoia Nat'l Parks 125th anniversary.

Other agencies in Arizona Strike Team 257C included

Photos and Article by Captain Ron Hood, Pinion Pine Fire District