More Tulare County residents ordered to evacuate as Windy Fire spreads to over 21,000 acres

The Windy Fire has burned more than 21,000 acres with 3% containment.
TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Tulare County Sheriff's Office on Saturday issued fresh evacuation orders for some communities near the Windy Fire in Sequoia National Forest.

The communities of Ponderosa and Quaking Aspen have been ordered to evacuate immediately.

A temporary evacuation point has been set up at Porterville College on 100 East College Avenue. Anyone in need of assistance can call 211.

On Saturday, the sheriff's office also issued an evacuation warning that includes M107 at Dome Rock, north to HWY 190/M90 at North Road (MT21S50), east to Route 21S05, at Needles Trail, south to Lloyd Meadow at Lower Peppermint Road (MT22S82).

Officials say that while these residents are not required to leave at this time, they should prepare to evacuate if the fire continues to spread toward their communities.

The sheriff's office says it has closed all roads for M107 from HWY 190/M90 to M50 at Parker Pass. There will be a roadblock at HWY 190 and Redwood - only residents of Cedar Slope will be allowed through with proof of residency.

The new evacuation order comes two days after the sheriff's office ordered the evacuation of Johnsondale and Camp Whitsett, including M107 at Dome Rock, east to Lloyd Meadow at Lower Peppermint Road (MT22S82), south to M99 at Sherman Pass Road, west to M107 and M50.

The Windy Fire has rapidly grown to 21,598 acres with 3% containment as of Sunday morning.

Firefighters have been up against high temperatures, bone-dry conditions, and steep terrain.

On top of that, a cold front is now sweeping through.

The flames are threatening homes, businesses, and ancient sequoia trees.

All roads and trail ways near the wildfire in the Sequoia National Forest are closed.

The U.S. Forest Service said the closures are in effect until the end of the year to help protect the public and firefighters.

Sparked by lightning, the fire is burning in steep terrain on the Tule River Reservation and in the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

It's among eight fires started by lightning in the forest during a storm last week.

A Red Flag warning is in effect through Sunday.

Fire officials expect to have full containment on the Windy Fire by the end of the month.

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