Image 1 of 2
Community Reporter Gary Sherfey was out on the job noting firefighters rolling toward the Chuchupate/Lake of the Woods wildland fire that broke out Wednesday evening, Jan. 18.
Image 2 of 2
Gary Sherfey, community reporter, took this image of a smoke trail (just above the rock in the center) from the Lake fire at about 8 a.m.
UPDATE—LAKE OF THE WOODS / LOCKWOOD VALLEY, CA (Thursday, Jan. 19 at 8:46 a.m.)—Information officer for Los Padres National Forest, Andew Madsen, sent this note at 8:41 a.m. in which he refers to television news reports that may have overstated the fire: "Smoke and flames were reported last night around 7 p.m. in a remote location behind the Chuchupate Ranger Station in Los Padres National Forest. The fire is contained at one-quarter of an acre. The 20 Los Padres firefighters were assisted by assets from Kern and Ventura County Fire. News reports of threatened structures and evacuations are untrue."
UPDATE—LAKE OF THE WOODS / LOCKWOOD VALLEY, CA (Thursday, Jan. 19 at 8:40 a.m.)—Community Reporter Gary Sherfey has photographed a wisp of smoke that appears to be what the "Lake" fire has been reduced to by about 8 a.m. See the second photo above.
Here is a note from Sherfey, responding to our request for more specifics about location and distances from the neighborhoods of Lake of the Woods: "I have a Nikon with a 4.7-84.2mm lens. I was standing on Lockwood Valley Road just past Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church. The fire is about 3/4 of a mile up Frazier Mountain behind and to the east of Chuchupate Ranger Station. I live in the Lake of the Woods mobile village. The fire is about a mile from us as the crow flies."
UPDATE—LAKE OF THE WOODS, CA (Thursday, Jan. 19 2012 5:43 a.m.)—Derek Tisinger, Fire Captain with Kern County Fire Department, said in an interview that the fire is in a very remote location in wildlands behind USFS Chuchupate Ranger Station. The area is difficult to access. The ranger station is being used as the staging area. The fire is now estimated to be between 3-5 acres in size. KCFD has about 20 firefighters on the job, as does Ventura County Fire Department, Tisinger reports. He is unsure at this time of the resources allocated by USFS.
There is a mild confusion in location, because the fire is in an area commonly referred to as Lockwood Valley among Mountain Community residents, but is technically still within the mapped area of Lake of the Woods. Residents typically speak of the populated neighborhoods as Lake of the Woods, and the area down Lockwood Valley Road toward Los Padres Forest land as Lockwood Valley.
UPDATE—LAKE OF THE WOODS, CA (Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 at 4:30 a.m.)—Community Reporter Gary Sherfey filed this report at 12:30 a.m.: Because of the very dry and windy conditions, the U.S. Forest Service used choppers to make night time water drops on the fire. As of 12:00 a.m. it appeared the firefighters were staged above and below the fire on the north face of Frazier Mountain. above Chuchupate ranger station, keeping a watchful eye on the fire. It appeared the fire was burning to the northeast towards homes and some evacuation orders had been delivered to nearby residents.
Gary Sherfey, Lake of the Woods
Fire officials say there have actually been no evacuation orders, but residents adjacent to the area have been notified of the fire.
LAKE OF THE WOODS, CA (Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 at 4:30 a.m.)—A press release was issued after midnight by Kern County Fire Department: Lake of the Woods, CA – At approximately 7:44 p.m. on January 18, 2012, the Kern County Fire Department received a call for a reported Wildland Fire burning south of the community, Lake of the Woods. The location of the fire is in a remote and rugged area near the Kern County and Ventura County Line. Approximately twenty Kern County firefighters are responding to this incident. No evacuations have been ordered at this time, however local law enforcement officers have notified approximately twelve homeowners of the fire in the area. Assistance is being received from the Ventura County Fire Department. Initial reports on the size of the fire place it somewhere between one and ten acres.
This information will be updated as it becomes available.
LAKE OF THE WOODS, CA (Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 at 4:30 a.m.)—Helicopters are reported to be helping to battle a fire in Lake of the Woods in an area in which about 10 houses may be threatened. Door-to-door notifications have been made to alert residents. More will be posted here shortly.
This is part of the January 13, 2012 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.