MADERA COUNTY – Oct. 9, 2020 – North Zone – With mop-up nearly complete along the stretch of uncontained fireline around Little Shuteye Peak, crews have progressed to gridding the green fuels adjacent to those lines, looking for hidden sparks and embers smoldering. This activity indicates that the fireline north and south of Little Shuteye Peak is approaching containment status.
The roads group has dropped more than a thousand trees in recent days to reduce hazards along interior roads, most of which are now open and passible. Yesterday they reported having completed improvement work in the Portuguese overlook area at the far north end of the fire.
FRESNO COUNTY – South Zone – The Sierra National Forest will allow individuals who were evacuated from campgrounds, camping areas and cabins in the South Zone of the fire an opportunity to return and collect their belongings again this weekend, October 10 and 11.
Smoke will be seen in the general area as fire personnel continue to strengthen the fire perimeter. Smoke from other fires in the state has become apparent in the Central Valley adding to the poor air quality. Please use caution while driving as heavy congestion is expected on Hwy 168 through the weekend.
Below average temperatures will remain present through the end of the week, and overnight temperatures at high elevations may even dip below freezing. Significant increases in relative
humidity, in the 40 to 60 percent range, have already helped to moderate fire behavior and slow the fires progress.
High clouds are expected to clear later today allowing for terrain driven winds to dominate, 3 to 8 mph downslope in the morning shifting to upslope winds of
5-10 mph in the afternoon. Unfortunately this will not be enough to clear smoke from the region.
Heavy smoke prevented air resources from assisting suppression efforts yesterday. Without bucket drops over the remote and difficult terrain of Little Shuteye Peak, crews were left to perform dry mop-up, using hand tools only. Smoke is expected to keep air operations grounded again today.