Fire Chiefs Eye the Season

It’s still early and in Mammoth Lakes, snow still covers brush and trees, but in Southern Inyo, serious fire safety has started. As we reported earlier, Lone Pine Fire Chief Le Roy Kritz announced that all burn permits are canceled and that all open burning in the Lone Pine Fire District will stop June 1 – this Sunday.

Chief Kritz pointed to high temperatures and strong winds.

In Bishop, Fire Chief Ray Seguine said he would follow fire restrictions set down by the State. Seguine did say that during high wind events, he does check to make sure any burn areas are totally out.

As for state fire restrictions, Cal Fire Chief Bob Hill said nothing has yet come down on no burning rules on state lands.

In Mammoth Lakes, Fire Chief Brent Harper said snow is just starting to melt so things should be safe for awhile, but he did add that the fire department encourages residents and visitors not to burn debris for fire and air quality reasons.

This season, Chief Harper and the fire department will continue with work to clear out fuels from Old Mammoth. Next week, Chief Harper expects to hear about a Sierra Nevada Conservancy grant of $100,000 each for the Mammoth Fire Department and for the USFS. If the grant comes through, the money will buy equipment and CDF crew time to remove fuels and make Old Mammoth look like Shady Rest where work last season left things cleared up.

This season, more clearing and creation of 100 feet of defensible space where possible.

More good fire news for Mammoth. Chief Harper said that starting today, Mammoth will have a 24 hour/ 7 days a week full-time fire engine for quick response. Paid crews will cover the engine during the week and paid volunteers on the week-ends.

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