More than 200 Kern County Fire Department personnel continued battling the largest of 12 lightning-caused fires burning in the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument Monday night, with their efforts aided by a steady rain.
By Monday night the so-called Shirley Fire still covered more than 400 acres and was threatening Alta Sierra.
U.S. Forest Service officials earlier Monday had advised residents to be prepared to evacuate, but there had been no forced evacuations of any homes as of Monday night, a spokeswoman said.
Nevertheless, a structure protection strike team of five engines was standing by through Monday night near Alta Sierra and the Shirley Meadows Ski area.
The fire Monday forced the closure of Alder Creek Road and Campground, Rancheria Road between Highways 178 and 155, Evans Flat Campground and Oak Flat Lookout.
A mudslide caused by heavy rains closed Highway 178 in both directions Monday afternoon. The rains were part of a flash flood warning issued by the National Weather Service for north central Kern County through Monday evening.
The Tenant Fire near Tenant Springs in the Kern River Ranger District had grown to 351 acres by Monday night and was burning through grass and brush toward Presidio Canyon, said the USFS spokeswoman, Cindy Thill.
Three smaller fires of less than 1 acre that started early Monday in the same district were extinguished.
Thill said the Shirley Fire “had significant rainfall on it which did slow its rate of progress.”
But Thill said the fire is considered zero percent contained.
It still burned in very steep, brushy terrain, which firefighters planned to tackle Tuesday.
Including Kern County Fire Department personnel, an additional 100 other firefighters are involved in the effort.
The Kern County Fire Department has been involved in fighting several of the fires since Sunday night after numerous lightning strike started fires in the Lake Isabella area.