NORTH FORK–Monday, July 3rd, 2023, air and ground firefighters responded to a vegetation fire in the 59000 block of Road 225 in North Fork. Initial reports put the fire at 5 acres with a moderate rate of spread. The fire was burning in grass and oak woodland. Within a half-hour of the fire starting, it had burned 20 acres, and fire officials were giving it the potential to burn up to 500 acres. That’s also when they warned people in the Cascadel Woods neighborhood that they might need to evacuate.
By the end of Monday, the Whiskey fire had burned 48 acres and was considered 15% contained. The Madera County Sheriff’s Department had also announced that a Whittier man had perished in the fire and that the evacuation warnings were still in place. Tuesday morning, the 4th of July, brought new reports of 83 acres burned and 20% containment. By 11:00 am, The Madera County Sheriff’s Department announced that the evacuations were being lifted.
Updated: The fire is now 90% contained as of 7.9.2023
Wednesday, July 5, 2023, the Whiskey Fire is holding at 83 acres and is 30% contained. Crews are actively looking for heat, extinguishing any smokes that are left, and working to further the containment lines and ensure the fire holds within its current acreage. Additional time is being spent carefully working and monitoring the fire because of the challenging and irregular terrain.
The weather remains hot and dry, but with the dedicated firefighter involved, fire officials are confident they can accomplish significant work in the next several days.
The United States Forest Service (USFS) has taken full command of the Whiskey fire, with crews working around the clock, day and night shifts, 24 hours a day. Resources committed to the fire include engines, helicopters, hotshots, and hand crews.
USFS would like to extend gratitude to their interagency partners that teamed up on the Whiskey fire from the very beginning and throughout the initial attack, including CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced, Madera County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Fresno and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
The U.S. Forest Service – Sierra National Forest would like to remind recreationalists that although fire restrictions are not in place, be mindful of weather conditions and proper, legal areas to have campfires with a valid California campfire permit found here: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit/
Also, remember that fireworks are not allowed on any forest service public lands. Please celebrate this holiday week safely and responsibly.