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Major fire in Kernville area (Read 1901 times)
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Major fire in Kernville area
Jul 27th, 2010, 12:31pm
 
The fire is very near Kernville and has destroyed several structures in the Riverkern area. It is burning on both sides of the river and has spread upriver into Tulare County. Kern River Fly Shop owner Raquel Jeans (Guy's wife) had to evacutate their home but has been able to return. Guy is on his way back from a guiding trip and will probably have to take a long detour as the road along the river above Kernville is closed. Everyone is OK.
 
Campers along the river are being escorted to retrieve belongings and are being relocated to campsites at Lake Isabella. Camping reservations are being relocated or canceled.
 
Here's a site for fire reports:
 
http://www.kerncountyfire.org/incidents.php?id=417
 
Here's a link to a discussion on the Kern River Fly Fishing site:
 
http://www.kernriverflyfishing.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?num=1280180966
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Re: Major fire in Kernville area
Reply #1 - Jul 27th, 2010, 12:46pm
 
Bummer!  Hate to see close watershed get burned like that!   Lew
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Re: Major fire in Kernville area
Reply #2 - Jul 29th, 2010, 9:28am
 
Right Lew, at this time it appears that about 1/3 of the canyon watershed in the 20 mile stretch of upper river we fish has burned. The real impact of this won't be felt until next year's runoff. We can expect a very muddy river from about 7 miles up from Kernville to Lake Isabella. Let's hope the fire crews can keep it from spreading further north. They now have it 12% contained and the wind is down. There are now 2400 fire fighters on scene and they are doing a great job! There are no more residences in harms way although there were 8 lost.
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Re: Major fire in Kernville area
Reply #3 - Aug 5th, 2010, 1:23pm
 
Aftermath report:
 
The road along the upper river is now open. I took a drive up river Monday (8/2) to see what damage the fire had done. While there were some bad areas and the horrible damage it had done to homes, I was surprised to find the river is such good shape. Most of the damage is on the west side of the river and the hills above the east side.
 
 
The first thing you notice as you head up river is the hills to the east of the road are burned to the soil and you start to realize how much soot, ash and soil will be washing into the river when the rains come.
 

 
 
This picture of the hill across from a campground shows the burned hillside
 

 
 
However, on the west side of the road everything seems OK at all the campgrounds.
 

 
They are still closed at this time but the Forest Sevice may open them soon.
 
 
The worst scenes are in Riverkern
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Farther up river you find some remaining hot spots and the damage on the west side of the river is evident. Again, the east side along the river is OK.
 

 

 

 
 
The fire came close but spared this familiar landmark
 

 
 
The canyon above Goldledge is fine on both sides.
 

 
 
Traveling south along the river the scorched hills are a reminder of effect of future runoff along much of the canyon from the watershed on both side of the canyon. Hopefully, the resultant silting of the river will not be as bad as I first thought, but it will be bad.
 

 
I'm sure the reason the damage is not what it could have been is the amazing work the ground crews and the water dropping aircraft have done. Once again, we owe these amazing firefighters our thanks! Hopefully they will catch the people responsible for starting this fire!
 
 
 In the meantime, the river looks great, all the campgrounds are fine and the fishing is great.
 
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Joe M
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