Sunday update: INF enters fire restrictions

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Inyo National Forest Enters Fire Restrictions

 Inyo National Forest is implementing fire restrictions effective on all Inyo National Forest lands. The forest is basing this decision on national level fire activity, local fire activity, and the availability of firefighters for response. Effective August 4, and until further notice, the following restrictions will be in effect:

No campfires, briquette barbeques, or stove fires are allowed outside of designated developed recreation sites and specifically posted campsites or areas. The list of designated campgrounds and recreation sites is available at visitor centers and is posted here.

• Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit (available free of charge at visitor center or online athttp://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/) are not exempt from the prohibitions but are allowed to use portable stoves or lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel.

No fireworks. It is prohibited to possess or discharge any fireworks, including “safe and sane” fireworks.

No smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

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Resorts, pack stations, recreation residences and other sites operated under special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service may be exempt from the special orders, as long as any fire activity is conducted in compliance with their permit. These are listed here.

Residents and visitors are reminded that simple steps can help prevent human-caused fires.

• Prevent vehicle related fires by maintaining proper tire pressure, ensuring adequate tire tread, and checking your brakes for overheating. Avoid traveling or parking on brush or grass. Ensure chains are not dragging while towing.

• Make sure your campfire is dead out! Drown it, stir it, feel it. If it’s not cool to the touch, it isn’t out.

• Use of exploding targets, such as Binary Explosive Targets, and tracer rounds, while recreationally shooting is both a fire hazard and illegal. The use of steel-core ammunition, although legal, can greatly increase the chance of a wildfire.

• Motorcycles, ATV’s and chainsaws require an approved spark arrestor.

Help prevent wildfires…..One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire.

Lions Fire

The Lions Fire is estimated at 7,549 acres with 65% containment, showing an increase of 55 acres. However, the fire could not be accurately mapped due to smoke inversion and growth is likely greater than what mapping reflects. There are 180 personnel committed to the fire, including 7 crews, 4 helicopters, and a pack string of mules from the Stanislaus National Forest.

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The most active portion of the fire remains on the western flank in the Cargyle Creek drainage of the Sierra National Forest. Increased fire activity is expected today.

Crews continue to make progress on the fire by securing the southwest corner and keeping the fire out of the Middle Fork San Joaquin River drainage. The fireline along the northeast flank of the fire remains secure (south of Fern Lake). Burning operations were suspended yesterday due to the wind event and crews focused on holding and strengthening the line. This focused effort protects developed areas in Devils Postpile National Monument, Reds Meadow, and Mammoth Lakes.

Along the western flank, crews are using trail networks and rock barriers for containment lines. Crews also continue to construct direct and indirect fireline along the southwest and west flanks in an effort to keep the fire crossing the San Joaquin River. Helicopters are supporting them by cooling the fire’s edge with water drops as air conditions permit.

The area has experienced approximately 50% tree mortality from bark beetles and drought conditions. Yesterday’s observed fire activity included backing, flanking, and single-tree torching. In the south and west flanks the fire is moving downslope.

Hot and dry conditions remain in the forecast with a Red Flag warning for gusty winds and low humidity until 10 pmtonight.

The Reds Meadow Road and all services in the Reds Meadow Valley, including Devils Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls, remain open.

Closures: There is an emergency trail closure for the Fern Lake and Beck Lake Trails on the Inyo National Forest and emergency trail closures and a Forest Order to close the area on the Sierra National Forest (west of the North Fork of the San Joaquin River, north of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River and South of Iron Creek).

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Smoke Advisory

Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District

Ferguson Fire and other wildfires

Stage 1 Health Advisory

Affected Areas: Mono County with heaviest impacts currently from Mammoth Lakes to Bridgeport
Smoke Sources: Ferguson Fire, Lions Fire, and Donnel Fire

Based on air pollution levels at Mammoth Lakes and Lee Vining a Stage 1 Air Pollution Health Advisory is in effect throughout the day on August 5, 2018. Periods of heavy smoke and clearing may fluctuate during the day depending on wind patterns. Visit www.gbuapcd.org for near real time conditions.

For more information on ways to protect yourself from wildfire smoke, click here.

A Stage 1 Health Advisory recommends children, the elderly, people with heart or lung problems, or people with current illnesses such as the flu, to stay indoors and avoid strenuous outdoor activities in the impacted areas

Air pollution monitors in Mono County:

Bridgeport

Lee Vining

June Lake

Mammoth Lakes

US Forest Service PM2.5 Monitor deployed in Mammoth Lakes

US Forest Service PM2.5 Monitor deployed in Crowley Lake

Smoke conditions may change quickly. If you have any questions please visit: www.gbuapcd.org or call the Great Basin Air Pollution Control District office in Bishop at 760-872-8211 during regular business hours.

Health advisories on the web: https://gbuapcd.org/AirMonitoringData/HealthAdvisories/

More Information: Ferguson Fire InciWeb Page and Lions Fire InciWeb Page

Information on all smoke events being monitored in the District: https://gbuapcd.org/smoke/

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Sunday, August 5, 2018
In Northern California, low pressure will be offshore to the west and strong high pressure will be centered over the Desert Southwest. The low pressure area will bring a chance of thunderstorms in the far north. Areas from the Cascade-Sierra Crest east will see southwest-west gusts of 40 mph and higher late today. These winds will die off later tonight. In Southern California, a trough dropping into Northern California from the Pacific Northwest will bring westerly winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph through Sunday morning. These winds will decrease to 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph Sunday afternoon and evening and then become light by Monday morning. Temperatures will be near to a little above normal today.
If you need to evacuate, go early to avoid being caught in fire, smoke or road congestion. Evacuating the fire area early also helps firefighters keep roads clear of congestion, and lets them move more freely to do their job. In an intense wildfire, they will not have time to knock on every door. If you are advised to leave, don’t hesitate! An emergency supply kit should be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Be sure to include enough supplies for at least three days. Learn more about what to pack in your Emergency Supply Kit, click here.
Fires of Interest:
Carr Fire, Shasta County (more info…)
Whiskeytown & Redding
•  154,524 acres, 41% contained
•  Evacuations and road closures in place
•  15,000 residents evacuated, over 1,600 homes threatened
• 1,067 residences destroyed, 189 residences damaged
•  Carr is now the 6th most destructive fire, 13th most deadly and 20th largest fire in state history
•  Damage assessment is ongoing
•  CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 1 (Gouvea) in unified command with Whiskeytown NP (Young), City of Redding FD (Kreider) USFS (Pechota)
Mendocino Complex, Mendocino/Lake County
• 254,982 total acres, 33% contained
•  The Mendocino Complex fire is the 5th largest wildfire in state history
• CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 2 (Kavanaugh) in command
• 41 residences destroyed, 10 residences damaged
• 23,000 residents evacuated, over 15,000 structures threatened
River Fire (more info…)
Hopland
• 47,663 acres, 58% contained
• Evacuations and road closures in place
Ranch Fire (more info…)
Ukiah
• 207,319 acres, 23% contained
• Evacuations and road closures in place
Wagner Fire, Mariposa County (more info…)
East of Coulterville
• 22 acres, 50% contained
Creek Fire, Alameda County
Southeast of Sunol
30 acres, 75% contained
Whaleback Fire, Lassen County (more info…)
West of Spaulding (Eagle Lake)
•  Evacuations in place
•  Unified command USFS NorCal Team 1 (Coots), CAL FIRE (Ferguson)
Ferguson Fire, Mariposa County (more info…)
Yosemite National Park
• 89,633 acres, 35% contained
• Over 600 structures threatened
• Evacuations and road closures remain in effect
• CA Fed IMT-3 (von Tillow) in command
Eel Fire, Mendocino County (more info…)
East of Covelo
• 972 acres, 50% contained
Cranston Fire, Riverside County (more info…)
Hemet
•  13,139 acres, 96% contained
•  All evacuations have been lifted
Donnell Fire, Tuolumne County (more info…)
Near Hwy 108, Donnell Lake area
•  5,800 acres, 0% contained
Georges Fire, Inyo County (more info…)
Lone Pine
•  2,883 acres, 70% contained
Horse Creek Fire, Tulare County (more info…)
John Krebs Wilderness Area
•  34 acres, 90% contained
Valley Fire, San Bernardino County (more info…)
Yucaipa
•  1,350 acres, 30% contained
Natchez Fire, Del Norte County (more info…)
Southeast of Cave Junction, OR
•  8,432 acres, 15% contained
Eagle Fire, Modoc County (more info…)
South of Cedarville
•  2,100 acres, 95% contained
Owens Fire, Mono County
North of Mammoth Lake
•  312 acres, 95% contained

 

20 Comments
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steve
steve
4 years ago

Charles , You think Healthy forests or lack there of helped to cause the blowdowns? Humm That is interesting. They called it the Devils wind. That wind blew down 200 year old plus trees. Their root system was that old. Much of the blowdown that I say had good roots… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  steve

Obviously it was the wind that caused the blowdown. I’m just saying it’s plausible that trees under stress would be more susceptible to blowing over in a strong wind event. A century of interrupting the natural process can be a source of stress for trees. Now I’m no expert, I’m… Read more »

David Dennison
David Dennison
4 years ago

Heidi,I think what Steve is trying to say is the fire started by lightning strike,but instead of jumping on it and putting it out with fixed-wing aircraft and water-drops,the USFS and the big-shots up top decided a good time to maybe set up a perimeter beyond the fire itself and… Read more »

Steve
Steve
4 years ago
Reply to  David Dennison

David D. That is basically what i was trying to say. I never meant to imply that theLions fire was started by the USFS, only that they took advantage of a small fire and turned it into what the USFS called a burnout operation. Just another word for controlled burn… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
4 years ago
Reply to  Steve

I think I got the gist of what you were saying in the first post. But words matter and I can see how someone might be confused or misled when throw out the term, “controlled burn”. That aside, forestry experts have repeatedly told us that a contributing factor to our… Read more »

steve
steve
4 years ago

Charles, Thank you. I used that word because that was the sentiment from the public in the meeting. The blowdown occurred in the end of November 2011, no hundred years of fuel issue there, Those downed trees could have been used for other purposes than up in smoke. Did you… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
4 years ago
Reply to  steve

No issue? Not sure I agree. Fire contributes to healthy forests. Healthy forests are less susceptible to blowdowns and other threats. Our century-long practice of extinguishing fires could’ve put the forest at greater risk of a blowdown event. Regardless, the conundrum of protecting life/property/environment vs. letting nature maintain a healthy… Read more »

steve
steve
4 years ago

Heidi, I did not lie.” The Lions fire is/was actually a opportunistic controlled burn” , they then built a 1000 plus acre perimeter and burned the middle outwards. The opportunistic part was the fire was very small 25 acres. The USFS used this opportunity to make a big burn. I… Read more »

Heidi Hall
Heidi Hall
4 years ago
Reply to  steve

Steve – once again your first statement:
I do not need to attend a meeting to discern the discrepancy in your statements. You claim the USFS deliberately set this fire. Then you say it was a lightning strike. You do know those two things are not the same, right?

Heidi
Heidi
4 years ago

” What I said and was not clear enough for you folks is that the USFS took advantage of a small pin sized fire and did a burning operation that was over 1000 plus acres.” No, that is not what you said – here, let me remind you: “The USFS… Read more »

dave
dave
4 years ago

Wildabeast. I too was at that public meeting. The FS director or something. Stated that they had and were going to burn off 500 more acres of heavy fuel at the public meeting in late June. Kiddoo from Great Basin air quality was pissed as Steve said. Kiddoo said what… Read more »

Wildebeast
Wildebeast
4 years ago

Where in the heck are you getting your information. The Lions fire started in the wilderness from lightning strikes….well documented and numerous throughout the Eastern Sierra. It wasn’t some conspiracy to keep you from logging or somehow benefiting from dead and down trees.

steve
steve
4 years ago
Reply to  Wildebeast

Yes the USFS claims that the fire was started by a lightning strike. The USFS also claimed that it went un- reported for 2 weeks. What I said and was not clear enough for you folks is that the USFS took advantage of a small pin sized fire and did… Read more »

Rick O'Brien
Rick O'Brien
4 years ago

Not to mention…if there was a single ring of truth to this fantasy, common sense would have dictated that a “controlled burn” be done in the dead of winter, like MOST controlled burns , instead of in JUNE. I must say though…common sense in this country isn’t what it was… Read more »

steve
steve
4 years ago
Reply to  Rick O'Brien

You don’t believe, I can’t help you there is was stated in a public meeting. It was not called a controlled burn , however i implied that it was one in the same. The USFS set fire to at least 1000 acres that were inside a perimeter they made. To… Read more »

steve
steve
4 years ago

Newsflash people of the Sierras! The Lions fire is/was actually a opportunistic controlled burn. See there was this thing called the devils wind that blew down a lot of trees in November 2011. It left all these trees on the ground. In some instances the trees were on top of… Read more »

Hans
Hans
4 years ago
Reply to  steve

Steve, I’d love to see any proof of your claims.
Having both worked in timber construction and chartered helicopters ($4-5000/hr for a small capacity bird), that sounds like fantasy at best. Prove me wrong.

steve
steve
4 years ago
Reply to  Hans

Hans,
All I know is that multiple request for logging by helicopter were submitted in the spring of 2012. One of the deal breakers was using chainsaws with the USFS would not provide a exception. The old growth logs were a premium.

David Dennison
David Dennison
4 years ago

vaguelynoble…So true….same with the “controlled burns”,usually along the Owens River…was told when they are scheduled,that plan doesn’t change,wind coming up or not…in my years of living in South Inyo,can think of a few that turned out to be not so much “controlled” and got out of hand kinda quickly…one of… Read more »

vaguelynoble
vaguelynoble
4 years ago

Lots of good advice. So let me add a little for the Forest Service. Next time you are tempted to allow a “natural burn” so close to a town to proceed without intervening because the Weather Service told you the wind would not change, don’t. Wind changes on a dime… Read more »