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Wilsonia Times: The Official Newsletter of Wilsonia Village Inc.
Volume 21 - SPECIAL EDITION - October 9, 2021
Evacuation Order Lifted
Evacuation warning still in place

As of this morning, October 9, Wilsonia’s evacuation order has been downgraded to an evacuation warning. Cabin owners can now visit their cabins. Other areas of the park remain closed. Bring proof of cabin ownership if you’re going to Wilsonia.

We are still under an evacuation warning. This potentially means we could be placed back under an evacuation order at some point. You may want to wait before returning sentimental items to your cabin, or planning a visit for any purpose other than retrieving belongings or winterizing.

Power was restored in Wilsonia this afternoon, after being shut off for the last several days. If you were unable to clean out your refrigerator before the evacuation order, come prepared to clean out spoiled food when you return to your cabin.

This is a great sign for Wilsonia’s safety from the fire. We are so grateful to our firefighters, and thankful for the rain we received yesterday.
A Tour of the KNP Complex North Zone
A Wilsonia Times exclusive
by Neal Mixter

A couple of days ago, I inquired with Mike Theune (the North Zone Incident Management Team Public Information Officer) about getting some photos of Wilsonia and the surrounding fire area to share with readers. As the Wilsonia Times Editor for the past 21 years, including five Special Editions and over 100 fire updates on Facebook in the last four weeks, he said I was completely qualified as a journalist to get inside the Complex today for a tour. 

I was surprised and pleased to learn that the Evacuation Order was lifted just as I was heading up the hill this morning. I met my official escort, John Ziegler, at my cabin. To enter the Complex, I needed to don full nomex gear, hardhat and gloves, which he provided for me. Today we toured the edges of the KNP Complex that came closest to Wilsonia.

We started by touring Wilsonia. Fire hoses still encircle the village, where they have been set up for the past week, as a precaution for the advancing fire. Hotshot crews had performed additional defensible space clearance work, moving flammable materials away from buildings and limbing up trees along roads. This was a supplement to the work that has been done by the Wilsonia community over the last several years. Structural fire strike teams were positioned in Grant Grove to move where needed at a moment’s notice. Thankfully, none of those extra precautions proved necessary.

We then moved out of Wilsonia and towards the fire. On the fireline, crews are performing the dirty job of mop-up. This basically involves digging through the dirt and breaking open downed logs to find and extinguish hidden hotspots. At the firebreak along the Generals Highway, just half a mile from the Wye, four USFS service trucks and crew were working on tree felling and mop-up work, looking for any active embers.

Below the Generals Highway, the scene was smoky and charred, but there were clearly many survivors, majestic Sequoias among them.

We ventured up a fire road just to the left as we entered Quail Flat. We drove, then hiked, up until we met up with the Cobras2, a wildfire type 2 team out of Porterville. They were also performing tree felling and mop-up on the Northern Edge of the fire, one ridge east of Park Ridge.

We then headed back through Wilsonia, where we met and talked to several of the structural strike team members. This team of 10 engines and 40 firefighters out of Sacramento has been working in Wilsonia for the last week, laying hoses, doing structural evaluations, and patrolling for hotspots.

Our final destination was Park Ridge Lookout. At the lookout, a contract crew was doing mop-up on the fire-blackened area just yards from the Fire Lookout and communication tower. There was a clear distinction on the horizon between the smoldering fire edge and the clear forest leading north toward Wilsonia.

The weather today was an October classic in the high 40s, with a nice northwest breeze keeping the skies over Wilsonia deep blue. Rain and possibly snow is in the forecast for Tuesday, and temperatures may drop into the mid 20s overnight.

I am relieved that we are looking so much safer today, and am ever grateful to the hardworking firefighters and support personnel who fought valiantly and at personal risk to battle this monster. It was such a relief to set foot on Wilsonia soil again today. I hope to see many of you there very soon!

Thanks to all of the readers and Facebook followers who share information and ask great questions. Thank you to WVI Board President Katie Wilson Padrick and the rest of the Board for trusting me to represent Wilsonia as the Point of Contact during this event. Thanks to Mike Theune, KNP North Zone PIO, for arranging this opportunity, and to John Ziegler, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks FMO, for escorting me today.
Plumes of smoke rise off charred trees and brush on a hillside. Some trees remain healthy and standing. The sky is blue in the background.
Looking northeast from Park Ridge Lookout. Clouds and smoke arise to the left of the image, with clear blue sky to the right. The catwalk around the lookout is visible at the left.
Smoky skies and charred trees near Redwood Canyon.
Three firefighters work to clear a path. Smoke from active embers is visible behind them. A fourth worker is obscured behind a hill to the right.
Winterizing Your Cabin
It's October, which is typically cabin-closing season for many of us. Lots of people have asked when cabin owners will be allowed to return to Wilsonia to prepare for the upcoming cold temperatures. Now that the evacuation order has been lifted, you currently can visit your cabin. However, we remain under an evacuation warning, which means that access restrictions may still happen.

We are seeing temperatures forecast on the Weather Channel app, as well as the default iPhone Weather app, to be as low as 19° on Tuesday. The temperature may be hovering around freezing, but doubtful it will drop that low. The Accuweather forecast shows overnight at 31° on Monday and 33° on Tuesday. The National Weather Service forecast lists 29° & 31° for those two nights. It seems unlikely that we will encounter a long enough deep freeze to damage pipes. Most other forecasts agree with the warmer temperatures. Wilsonia did not receive any snow from Friday's storm.

The North Zone Incident Management team is aware that many cabin owners are concerned about getting their cabins prepared for the winter. They will continue to keep us informed about the changing fire and weather conditions. We will all need to remain patient and flexible for the next couple of weeks.
Additional Information

We will send additional special editions of the Wilsonia Times when there are major developments relevant to Wilsonia, including when the evacuation warning is lifted. If you've missed any issues of the Wilsonia Times, you can catch up at

For more frequent updates, check the Wilsonia Village Facebook page. We are constantly watching the latest information on the fire and will highlight the news that is most relevant to Wilsonia. The page is currently updated multiple times per day. You can view the page even if you are not a Facebook user.
For the latest updates on the KNP complex and other fires, watch the and CalFIRE incidents pages.

To sign up for emergency alerts and to view evacuation information, visit the Tulare County's Office of Emergency Services page.

Because many park personnel who typically update the websites have been evacuated, the NPS recommends following their social media accounts for the latest information. The NPS is frequently updating the Sequoia-Kings Canyon Facebook page and Twitter. They have been livestreaming their daily morning briefings and periodic community meetings to the Facebook page.

For information and news from our local National Park and National Forest, visit the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Forest websites. You can also subscribe to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks fire information email list by texting KNP to 22828, and following the prompts.

Air quality conditions in Wilsonia have been volatile. We had good air quality immediately after yesterday's rain, although as winds shift, smoke may blow back into the area. To monitor air quality in Wilsonia, visit and search for Kings Canyon National Park. There is a sensor set up near the Visitor Center on Hilltop Road that is visible on this map; please note that it has been offline for the last couple of days.

If you are looking for a tangible way to support our firefighting crews, they have previously appreciated donations to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, which helps families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and assists injured firefighters and their families.

The Wilsonia Times is the official newsletter of Wilsonia Village Inc.
Editor: Neal Mixter
Visit to read past issues.
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