The final evacuation orders at French Fire are lifted; caution still required | New


The Kern County Fire Department said on Monday that final evacuation orders due to the French blaze had been lifted for Keyesville, Alta Sierra, Shirley Meadows, Wagy Flats, Black Gulch and Fulton Peak.

Fire officials urged locals and those returning to their properties to be aware of surrounding activities and potential dangers in and around the fire area.

The blaze, which began Aug. 18 west of Lake Isabella, has burned 26,702 acres and is 52 percent under control. Some 1,201 people continue to work on the blaze.

A national incident management team continues to manage the fire, integrated into Great Basin IMT 6 and in coordination with the Bureau of Land Management, Sequoia National Forest and Kern County Fire Department under a unified command.

Route 155 on the Glennville side of the western edge of Sequoia National Forest to Rancheria Road at the summit of Greenhorn remains closed.

Firefighters also released these updates on Monday:

• A structure group patrols and cleans the infrastructure inside the fire, including Alta Sierra, Shirley Meadows, the Shirley Peak communications center, and the Southern California Edison 66kV sub-transmission lines north of the highway. 155.

• Sunday’s burning operations were successful at Cedar Creek and Alder Creek. Smoke may still be visible as crews work to secure the line and continue to clean. On Monday, the teams were to continue improving the handline north of Red Mountain from Bear Creek to Alder Creek.

• On the north side of the fire, crews continue to clean up, locating and eliminating any remaining heat sources.

• Fire activity is minimal on the east and south sides of the fire. Teams will continue to clean up and patrol the area. About 38 miles of fire hose need to be removed.

• Very dry and hot conditions with low relative humidity will persist.

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