The King and Cascade Fires have been tamed. With 92% containment on the King Fire, and 90% on the Cascade Fire, Unified Command is releasing more personnel and expecting full containment soon.
In the daily briefing for today, September 30, here is what was said: “Today fire crews will continue mopping up, pulling excess hose and pumps, chipping brush and repairing lines constructed during fire suppression. The potential for fire spread remains extremely low. Excess resources will continue to be demobilized or reassigned to Zone 2.”
In Zone 1, which is the southern part of the fire zone, fire crews are busy with clean-up. Trees that are deemed a hazard along roads are being cut down, crews are gathering hoses, chipping brush, and removing debris from the roads.
The fire activity is expected to be low, with some smoldering of heavier fuels within the fire lines.
From a total of over 8,000 fire personnel, Unified Command has released around 4,000 fire fighters. There are currently 3,153 fire personnel still working the fire.
The Cascade Fire is also in a mop-up stage. Crews are continuing to work on the containment lines, and have begun the process of restoration.
Laurence Crabtree, El Dorado National Forest Supervisor, lifted some of the closures in the Crystal Basin Recreation area. As of this morning, according to the press release, Crabtree listed these areas as open to the public:
“Recreation areas such as the Rubicon Jeep Trail, Wrights Lake, Desolation Wilderness and the east side of Ice House Road are open to the public. Some recreation areas have been closed since September 17, 2014. Forest Order 03-14-111 replaces Forest Order 03-14-110 effective September 30, 2014 until the King Fire is declared out.”
This is good news all around. Being able to once again explore the awesome territory in the Crystal Basin is a boon to anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Autumn in the Crystal Basin is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the change of seasons, with cooler temperatures, less crowded campgrounds, and a boatload of great hikes.
The daily update also included information about a newly created King Fire Fund: “Nearly $30,000 was granted to local organizations from the newly created King Fire Fund, which was established by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation to provide support and future recovery efforts to those affected by the King Fire in El Dorado and Placer Counties.” At least 80 structures were consumed by the fire.
Visitors to the Crystal Basin can still expect to experience some smoke issues, due to the continued smoldering of the fire.