National Park

Fire evacuation underway for Kings Canyon Park, Grant Grove

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have issued mandatory evacuation orders for some popular tourist sites: the communities of Grant Grove, Wilsonia and Cedar Grove.

The parks have been closed to tourists for several days.

Evacuations apply to residents, employees and anyone else who might do business in these areas. They are asked to leave before noon on Friday, exiting on highway 180 heading west.

Residents of these areas are asked to meet at 3 p.m. on Friday at the Bear Mountain Library at 30733 East Kings Canyon Road in Squaw Valley. Information on accommodation options will be available.

Employees are encouraged to call their supervisors regarding work assignments. Those with urgent concerns can call the park dispatch center at 559-565-3195.

Neither the parks nor the fire department have shared details of what prompted the evacuations, or whether the giant redwoods in Grant Grove are in danger.

The areas are north of where the KNP complex fire burned.

However, “increased fire activity” resulted in the cancellation of a media tour scheduled for Friday for the Grant Grove area and Park Ridge Fire Lookout.

At least one localized fire broke out Thursday evening. The flames had passed through the north fork of the Kaweah River, about two or three miles southeast of Eshom Point, and had burned about 500 to 600 acres.

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Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A journalist for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She graduated in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.