Round Fire: Residents may re-enter today


From CAL FIRE: Credential verification for Repopulation of Paradise & Swall Meadows residents will begin at 4 p.m. We will let residents of both communites; however, Paradise will not have power until around 9pm


Horrible tragedy in the Eastern Sierra: The Round Fire claimed 40 homes – 39 in Swall Meadows and one in Paradise – and

residents were only being allowed back into the devastated areas today.

Photos courtesy of Cat Connor

Photos courtesy of Cat Connor

Reports from CAL FIRE this afternoon said Southern California Edison crews had power lines along roads and Paradise didn’t have

power as of 1 pm today – CAL FIRE said the goal was to get re-entry for residents of Paradise by 4 pm, followed by Swall Meadows.

The Round Fire began at 2:07 pm Friday, and another fire, the Van Dyke Fire near Bridgeport, also erupted on Friday. The blazes
closed US 395 and have disrupted Verizon cell service in the Eastern Sierra.

As of this morning, the Round Fire was still being reported at 7,000 acres – or about 11 square miles – with 85 percent containment.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Cat Connor Round Fire 2

Over 250 personnel were still working the fire area today, with 20 fire engines, 14 hand crews, four bulldozers, two water tenders and
one helicoper. Four firefighters have suffered injuries; there has been no loss of life to date recorded/reported per Mono County
Sheriff/Coroner Ingrid Braun.

CAL FIRE spokeswoman Capt. Liz Brown reported dozens of power poles were down in Swall Meadows and Paradise, creating
hazards for about 250 residents who have been evacuated. Propane tanks were also venting, making re-entry for residents into the
area dangerous.

CAL FIRE reports people may see smoking debris on hillsides but it does not pose a threat to residents and structures.

An evacuation center was set up at the Crowley Lake Community Center.

As always, Eastern Sierra residents quickly came together to help their friends, neighbors and those they may not know but may be in

St. Timothy’s Attic Thrift Store invites all persons, with ID, who lost their home and possessions in the “Round Fire” to take any items
they need from our store. .Our store hours are Monday, 12 to 4, Tuesdays through Friday, 10 to 4 and Saturdays, 11 to 2.Our phone
number is:760-873-8974. “We are located in Bishop at 140 Whitney Alley. We are here to help. God Bless You.”

Donations to the Bishop Rotary Foundation Fire Victims fund are tax deductible. To send in a contribution, be sure to indicate on the
check that it is for the Round Fire Victims Fund and mail it to:

Bishop Rotary Foundation
Fire Victims Fund
c/o Van Tassell & Paegel, P.C.
119 Mac Iver Street, Suite G
Bishop, CA 93514….

The Cast Off in Mammoth Lakes is accepting donations for Fire Victims.

Also accepting donations over the weekend: the Tri-County Fairgrounds, Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army – as well as AltaOne Federal Credit Union, and Bishop Veterinary Hospital is offering free boarding for animals.

On Friday afternoon, about two hours after the Round Fire began, winds were whipping through the Round Valley area between 20
and 30 miles per hour, with gusts estimated by CAL FIRE at 70 miles per hour.

But when the sun went down, the winds kicked up even more to 50 to 75 miles per hour, and the blaze grew from a reported 100
acres to 3,000 acres quickly.

And Friday was another record-setting temperature day for Bishop – 80 degrees, beating the previous record for Feb. 6 (1951) by eight degrees – and by Saturday the Round Fire had grown to 7,000 acres.

Travelers on US 395 between Bishop and Mammoth saw an eerie if spectacular sight Friday night along Sherwin Grade as the
flames barged up Wheeler Crest.

Rain began fall after midnight and that helped firefighters put out hot spots and start to get some control over the raging Round Fire.

Cooperating agencies included the USFS, Paradise Fire Dept., Inyo County Sheriff, Mono County Sheriff, CHP, LADWP and fire
departments from Bishop, Big Pine, Independence, Lone Pine, Long Valley and Wheeler Crest, as well as Southern California
Edison and California Department of Corrections.

The extent of the damage – with, again, 40 homes as well as five structures damaged, made not only the national news but international news as foreign papers picked up the sad story of residences burned and lives forever changed for people in Swall Meadows and Paradise.

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22 Responses to Round Fire: Residents may re-enter today

  1. biggame March 9, 2015 at 8:57 pm #


  2. mel March 7, 2015 at 5:18 am #

    i don’t usually post LMAO! Lari just set the record straight! Hehe! We all know who the drunken neighbor in Round Valley is now don’t we! LOL that is too too funny.

    • Lari March 9, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

      Not exactly sure where you are getting that I set any record straight? ovlove asked the question of where I was at during the fire and I responded. Simple as that. I agree, hugs to all of the families that have suffered through this devastation.

  3. ovlove March 5, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

    settle down lari. you told me i should get my facts straight. i was confirming and will say one more time.. the only fact that i have stated is that browns delivered a bin. oh and i did see smoke at lunch time. but thats it, the only facts i know. in other words, that means that i dont know any other facts. i did not blame you or your husband or express any hatred, consideration, or lack of. my facts are straight.

  4. Allen March 5, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    I just want to say…I watched the news clip reporting the fire on the internet. Mickey Jarvis was reporting live via telephone. Mr. Jarvis refered to the fire as “devistating” and “them poor people” He went on further, saying “we lost a truck” and “burned up all our fences.” When asked how the fire started he said ” powerlines arched” and “sparks” fell on “dry ground.” I don’t think he would be the one reporting the news unless he was qualified. He is probably a public information officer or fire detective or something. ovlove- the phrase “sober up” was probably a little over the top/offensive and could have been left out along with the drunken neibor ranch part. And Lari- what in the hell were you reading? you must be reading between the lines. I think we all agree the whole thing is aweful. I am confident Calfire will determine the cause. Technology has come a long way. Area web cams will help to reveal time and place, activities or people, if there are any. HUGGS to all the victoms .

    • biggame March 7, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

      hate to say it Allen, but you are way off base. Jarvis is nothin but a ranch hand.

    • biggame March 8, 2015 at 7:58 am #

      Mick Jarvis is a ranch hand.

  5. Philip Anaya February 10, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    After the Northridge Earthquake there were many folks who were assisted in filing their insurance claims by a grass roots organization called United Policy Holders . A former Insurance claims adjuster , Ina DeLong came down from the Bay area where she had assisted folks in the Berkley/Oakland. The methodology was a basic organization of networking groups that were organized by Insurance Carriers. The idea was to educate folks regarding the claim process. I am not certain if the Insurance companies are still operating the way they used to but folks are going to have to prove their claim , provide proof of property lost and that is difficult when everything is gone . There are what are called public adjusters to assist individuals but they are expensive sometimes charging 20% of the total claim. Folks should band together and share knowledge and information and have a realistic view of their “Good Hands” claims adusters. No Insurance company gives a discount on premiums so think hard about handing them a discount on your claim. Totally agree with S. Magnolia and being socially conscience is a great business plan in times of disaster

  6. sugarmagnolia February 10, 2015 at 7:28 am #

    PLEASE…realtors/property managers, DON’t raise rents to take advantage of the sudden surge in demand for rental units. 40 families needing homes in an area with maybe 5-10 houses available for rent within the entire Mammoth/Bishop area and parts in between, creates an opportunity for unscrupulous, greedy people to add to the displaced peoples pain.

    Today’s rents are high already, keep your rents reasonable, help these folks out by not price gouging them, landlords should do just fine with the current rents without taking advantage of this tragedy!

    Hopefully, some second home owners in Mammoth will create some more rental stock by putting their second homes on the rental market. That would be a nice thing to do, temporarily convert vacation homes to long term rentals until people can re-build!

    And Contractors, please don’t take advantage of what will be a surge in building….Keep your profit reasonable, no need to price gouge!

    Together we can help our friends and neighbors move forward from this. Please don’t price gouge!

    • Ken Warner February 10, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      Nice sentiments — but being socially conscious is not a business plan.

      • Charles O. Jones February 10, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

        Treating people honestly and fairly is ALWAYS a good business plan. This is small town America. Taking advantage of someone in their time of need would definitely lead to reputation that would hard to shake. Conversely, do right by people now and the community members will remember that when they’re looking to hire someone down the road.

        • Ken Warner February 11, 2015 at 10:20 am #

          If what you say is true — why did sugarmagnolia have to ask?

          • Charles O. Jones February 11, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

            I guess cuz there are few out there who aren’t aware that taking advantage of people isn’t in their own best interest in the long run. Word travels fast in small communities – both good and bad. And it’s very difficult to out-run your reputation once you’ve destroyed it.

    • Bemused February 10, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

      Who would thumbs-down this? Fascinating…

    • erik simpson February 10, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

      My experience with local people has been entirely positive, and we’re very grateful for the unselfish reactions we’ve experienced. Looking for greed and negativity sometimes predisposes people to find it.

  7. chris February 9, 2015 at 7:30 pm #

    Thank you, Sierra Wave, for reporting through the weekend on this local tragedy. Your updates helped those of us who wish to help, and pray, for our neighbors. Great work!

  8. Charles O. Jones February 9, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    High five to all the fire, law enforcement and others who dealt with this incident under extremely difficult conditions. Another high five to all the residents, businesses and organizations that stepped up to help those who were displaced by this fire.

    My heart goes out to all those who’ve lost homes or other property. I hope the rebuilding process goes as smooth as possible for you.

  9. ovlove February 9, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    Browns Supply Inc. recently delivered a scrap bin to the ranch where the fire started. The fire could have been started while cutting scrap in the wind? just a thought

    • Lari February 20, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

      You really need to get your facts straight before you start slandering people! Get a life!

      • ovlove February 26, 2015 at 8:44 am #

        Lari- Maybe you should sober up and read the post again. Exactly what “facts” are you referring to? The only fact that I have stated is that Brown’s delivered a scrap bin. This is a fact and can be verified. As for the rest of the comment…..the word perhaps clearly indicates mere suggestion. For all I know a drunken neighbor from a nearby ranch could have carelessly tossed a cigarette butt. Where were you when it started? PERHAPS you know more than the rest of us. This incident is a tragedy and I hope that who ever is responsible is held accountable.

        • Lari March 4, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

          Excuse me? Now you are trying to blame me for this fire? Like I said get your facts straight before you start throwing accusations around. Not that I have to answer to you but I was working, along with my husband, in Bishop not at Round Valley…something you obviously were not doing. And since you saw smoke so much earlier then when the call was sent out, where were you? Hmmmm you seem to have so much information about this fire? And for the record my husband and other ranchers were out there after the fire started risking their lives trying to help those in need, while you were so worried about placing blame on those you have so much hatred towards. Blame it on mother nature as well…as I see these lawyers are blaming SCE…Yes once the truth comes out on the exact cause you will realize how ridiculous you sound. Sad Sad Story. Our concern has been on the poor families that have lost so much, its called consideration, something you obviously have NONE of.

          • biggame March 5, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

            Lari- Why all the hate and anger. I think you are taking things a bit personal, and in my opinion, you are awfully defensive and jumping to conclusions. The cause of the fire is under investigation, meaning it is critical to collect any and all info in order to confirm the exact cause of origin. The fact that Brown’s delivered a scrap container to the ranch where the fire is alleged to have started, may or may not have relevance, however, it is indeed, a detail which should not be overlooked. To offer this information, in itself, shows a general concern and consideration for all of those involved, in the hope to ultimately find the exact cause and nature of the fire that devastated so many peoples homes and lives. Personally, I want to know why more people are not asking questions and offering details. It is truly amazing how differently one person can interpret things, compared to another. I was not at all given the impression you, or anyone else for that matter was being blamed for this tragedy? Your angry response on the other hand… you make several allegations, completely unrelated to the subject matter. It is totally unreasonable to assume that a person does not or was not working, based solely on the fact that they witnessed smoke. That is absolutely ludicrous. I too, saw smoke as early as 12pm. I was working at the time. The smoke was visible from almost anywhere in the valley. Power lines have been known to cause fires in the past. However, in this case, it is highly unreasonable to believe that someone could have seen sparks coming from power lines, or saw the fire start, and did not realize at that time, that it was a dangerous situation, and they needed to call emergency response. I know if I saw sparks flying or broken lines and what not, I would dial 911 and get the heck out of dodge. Under different circumstances, one might consider putting out the fire on their own, but sparks flying? Arching power lines? I don’t think so. If someone saw the fire start then why wasn’t it reported until hours afterward? In my opinion, anyone who witnesses this event, and does not immediatley call EMS, they are just as guilty as the utility company. That is of coarse, only my opinion. Not to be confused with actual facts.


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