Airport Fire Warm Springs area

Two weeks after the Airport Fire raced down the Owens River scorching 4,136 acres, Bishop Fire Department Chief Joe Dell gave his report to the Bishop City Council.

While Big Pine residents, east of Hwy. 395, were told to evacuate to the Bishop Senior Center, few did. This call to evacuate was the fourth in the past 12 years.

The Big Pine and Lone Pine fire departments were deployed at Hwy. 168 successfully stopping
the fire before it got to Big Pine.

Sierra Wave checked with the Inyo County Water Department to find out how the fire impacted
Inyo’s efforts to restore vegetation along the Owens. The department’s Meredith Jabis
responded: “Generally fire impacts are entirely dependent on the severity/intensity of the fire,
and the particular vegetation community involved. Some of the burned area was riparian and
some upland shrub vegetation. I dont know much about severity (although it looked pretty hot
from photos and smoke plumes) or vegetation involved yet, since I have not been out to the
perimeter, as I have been waiting until access is easier.  If the fire was lower-heat intensity then
it is possible some of the tree crowns survived and will re-sprout, but if not then we might have
a shift to a different community type post-fire, like more coyote willow and less riparian trees.
This will take some time to determine, and much of the response will depend on the water-year
and wetting of the root zone. It will take some time to determine.”

Here is the breakdown of equipment and firefighters deployed:
 680 personnel
 51 engines
 8 water tenders
 3 helicopters

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