OAKHURST — As activity winds down on the Railroad Fire, crews continue to be demobilized to return to their home units or be made available for other fires in the region.
The fire is still holding at 12,407 acres and is now 87 percent contained.
The Railroad Fire will transition to a local Sierra National Forest Type 3 management organization on Thursday morning at 7 a.m.
Fire activity has been minimal over the past few days as interior islands of fuel continue to smolder. Crews are focus on strengthening the fireline on the east flank near Big Sandy and hitting any hot spots remaining near the perimeter.
There has been some rain over the fire area the past few days, and the forecast is for cooling and good overnight humidity recovery into the weekend.
There are currently 536 personnel assigned to the incident, and there is no night shift out on the firelines.
The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team personnel will begin arriving at the incident over the next few days. The BAER teams are staffed by specially trained professionals including hydrologists, soil scientists, engineers, biologists, vegetation specialists, archeologists, and others who rapidly evaluate the burned area and prescribe emergency stabilization treatments.
Fire crews also continue with fireline suppression repair, repairing or improving land damaged during fire suppression and line construction activity.
Of current total area burned, 11,464 acres were on the Sierra National Forest, and 943 acres were private land.
The Sierra National Forest has issued a Forest Closure Order for the area impacted by the Railroad Fire.
“Closure of the fire area is necessary to help ensure that no one is injured within or near the active fire perimeter,” said Forest Officials in a statement released yesterday. “All National Forest System roads and trails, within the active fire perimeter will be closed due to fire suppression and rehab activities that create a hazard to the public which includes the falling of hazard trees that were weakened by the fire and the construction and maintenance of fuel breaks.”
This closure will remain in effect until the fire is declared out. (Click map to enlarge).
There have been 17 structures lost to the Railroad Fire, and 6 injuries to firefighters.
All Red Cross and Central California Animal Disaster Team shelters have been closed. All evacuations have been lifted.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.