smoke for knp fire story

Smoke from the 40,000-acre-plus fires burning in and near Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks have impacted Mammoth and the Eastern Sierra for a week and the fires continue to grow as of Sept. 20 with zero containment. The parks are now mostly closed, which could impact Eastern Sierra recreation users who use Eastside trails to a access the areas near the park. 

The closure of all of the Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park due to the KNP Fire and the Windy Fire could have an impact to the Eastern Sierra because many popular hiking trails into the parks start in the Eastern Sierra. As such, the Inyo National Forest is sharing an update on the new closures (see below).

"While the eastern edge of the parks remain open, we remind visitor that wilderness permits will not be issued for areas where closures are in effect," said Deb Schweizer, the Inyo National Forest information officer. "As always, visitors should know before they go and safely plan their trips around areas that have closures, un-contained fires, active fire, and smoke in the areas.

"Additionally, the parks share that regarding search and rescue, visitors should be prepared to be completely self-sufficient when traveling into Sequoia or Kings Canyon wilderness," she said. "The services the public may have come to expect in the past are not possible and will not be available right now. They should consider this before entering the park wilderness. The park helicopter is committed to fire activities and unavailable."

Here is the park's latest update, as of Sept. 19:

Large portions of Kings Canyon National Park have now been closed due to KNP Complex Fire activity, with further closures expected.

 The closure includes:

  • All lands within the boundaries of Sequoia National Park west of the Pacific Crest Trail.
  • All lands of Kings Canyon National Park west of the Generals Highway and south of Highway 180.
  • All lands within the wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park west of the Pacific Crest Trail and south of the ridgeline which lies north of Ionian Basin.

For a map of Sequoia and Kings Canyon closures in effect visit

All campgrounds in Kings Canyon National Park were closed effective September 18 through at least September 25. This includes all campgrounds in Cedar Grove and Grant Grove. All concession services closed today, September 19, including lodging, retail, and food service. Access into wilderness from Kings Canyon trailheads is no longer permitted.

Grant Grove and Cedar Grove are currently open, but visitors should prepare for hazardous air quality, smoke, and low visibility. Visitor services are very limited in these areas. We recommend coming prepared with food, drinks, N95 masks, and a full tank of gas. These areas could close with little notice.

For current information we ask visitors to rely on web and social media, as many of our park employees that would typically provide information over the phone or in person have been evacuated or are under evacuation warning.

• Most current information about park closures and conditions can be found here:

• Most current information about the KNP Complex Fire can be found here:

Air quality links:

• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency smoke and fire map:

• The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (our local District):

• And satellite imagery such as:

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