Fire officials declare progress in fight against SQF Complex

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Lightning strikes ignited a pair of fires in the remote Golden Trout Wilderness last month.

Since then, one of the blazes, the Castle Fire, has consumed tens of thousands of acres of land and flattened 150 homes and cabins in small Tulare County mountain communities.

Over the weekend, crews pushed containment of the SQF Complex, which includes both the Castle and Shotgun Fires, to 18%.

"So we're making progress, and that's what this whole thing is about, is to make progress," said CAL FIRE Team 6 Public Information Officer Rich Brocchini. "So we're going to continue that fight, even in the remote areas, and make sure that we do that on our terms and keep everybody safe."

Treacherous terrain is an obvious challenge in the fight against the SQF Complex.

But at a press conference event on Monday, officials acknowledged a much broader obstacle during this historic, taxing fire season-making due with the limited resources they've been given.

Still, 1,400 firefighters are assigned to the SQF Complex, and officials say they will continue to fight the fire from the ground and air.

"You've been away from home for a long time," U.S. Forest Service Supervisor Teresa Benson said. "That's not easy, and we want to thank you for your personal sacrifices that you've given."

As the fight continues, Tulare County Fire Chief Charlie Norman says public safety is his number one priority.

That's why it will still be a while before anyone is able to go back to their homes or cabins.

"So prior to any type of reentry, there's a lot of tree work that needs to be taken care of on Highway 190," Norman said.

In the meantime, you can check on your property using a new interactive map. Click on a home to see its status and any associated pictures of the damage.

Officials also reminded everyone that both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, as well as the Sequoia National Forest, remain closed because of the SQF Complex.
App users: For a better experience, click here to view the full map in a new window
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.