Creek Fire Update as of Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. | Town of Mammoth Lakes Community Meeting

The Town of Mammoth Lakes hosted a zoom update on the Creek Fire with representatives from all the involved agencies Tuesday evening.  CLICK TO WATCH.

In a nutshell: Things are looking better than they did late last week as the northeast edge of the fire is behaving as anticipated. The enlarged and labeled topographic maps used in the presentation, which will be posted on the Town’s Facebook page, clearly shows the rock cliffs and outcroppings as well as the areas of burnable fuels.

  • The wind activity late last week was as expected, moving the Creek Fire further northeast. The fire reached the scar from the Lions Fire and slowed down. While the fire crossed the south fork of the San Joaquin River, it stopped at the rock in the river drainage.
  • According to Evans Kuo, deputy incident commander with Great Basin Team 1, the danger of the fire moving to Mammoth is less and less.
  • The fire is approximately four miles from Pincushion Peak. But the peak is not one of the Management Action Points, or triggers. The fire has to burn through rock outcroppings to make any more progress.
  • A lot of the questions dealt with the horrific air quality, but the haze and smoke are a sign the high pressure over the Great Basin is holding the winds from moving the fire toward Mammoth.
  • Mammoth Fire Chief Frank Frievalt responded to questions dealing with the smoke issues and letting the north and east flanks of the fire continue to burn. “We’re seeing the natural barriers are working,” he said. “The risk is at an acceptable level and not worth the risk of sending firefighters into the dangerous terrain.”
  • The plan, as of Tuesday, is to re-open the national forests by Friday morning as the regional order expires. The exception is Wilderness Areas since most trails lead into the fires. No open fires will be allowed except in developed campgrounds. However, not all those campgrounds will re-open as some are closing for the season. Currently closed areas are being patrolled.
  • The obvious question, “why is the forest opening?” was answered by John Smith, INF supervisor. “The days are getting shorter and cooler. We manage the lands for the people to use.”
  • The Creek Fire could be officially out by mid-October, but the better odds are Halloween.
  • While evacuation was considered less likely than it was at last week’s community meeting, participants were urged to keep their cell phones charged for Code Red alerts. The evacuation point would be at the Bishop Fairgrounds and the site would be equipped for those with special needs.

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