On Sept. 25, 2022 Tahoe National Forest Saddleback Lookout discovered the Union Fire located southeast of Union Flat Campground, South of Hwy 49, on the Yuba River Ranger District. Tahoe National Forest Dispatch immediately mobilized aerial and ground firefighting resources and ordered a USFS Helicopter Rappel Crew.
The Union Fire was initially sized up as 10’x10’, burning in remote and steep terrain, with no road access in. Over the fire, TNF Air Attack 17 coordinated the aerial firefighting response from TNF Helicopter 514 with 514 Tahoe Helitack, and cover Helicopter 523 with SQF Kernville Helitack 523 from Sequoia National Forest. TNF Contracted Type 1 Super Puma “Firecat” 6RG stationed at the Truckee Airport and the Tahoe Hotshots also responded.
Working until dark, helicopters performed bucket work to check up the fire spread to 1/3 acre while Sierra National Forest Sierra Helitack 520 Heli-rappel crew rappelled into the fire and began constructing fireline around the perimeter, stopping forward progress. The Sierra Heli-rappellers remained on the fire overnight to secure the completed fireline and TNF Tahoe Hotshots hiked in early the next morning and fully contained the fire by 10:30am. After mopping up and hand-gridding the entire 1/3 acre fire area to remove all remaining heat, controlling the fire, they called it out at 5:00pm. Firefighters on the ground confirmed the Union Fire is a lightning strike holdover from a storm that occurred days ago and appeared with the warmer temperatures and drying of fuels.
U.S. Forest Service-Tahoe National Forest is hiring temporary seasonal positions on specialized crews such as Tahoe Helitack Crew 3 Hotshot crews, as well as on Engines, Fuels Crews, Lookouts, Air Tanker Base, and Dispatch. Applications for the 2023 Fire season are being accepted online at usajobs.gov starting Sept. 29-Oct. 6, 2022. Contact your local USFS Tahoe National Forest Ranger Station for more information and check out the Tahoe National Forest Fire Employment webpage. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/tahoe/home/?cid=fseprd838779&width=full
Forestry Technician- Wildland Firefighter Engine 371
Public Information Officer-Fire
U.S. Forest Service
Tahoe National Forest
Truckee Ranger District