2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
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maverick
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2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by maverick » Thu May 31, 2018 11:13 am

Please report here any fires or encounter smoky conditions during a recent trip to the Sierra. Please make sure to write the fires name in the subject box, including dates.


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Lions Fire 6/24 ( 7 miles SW of Mammoth)

Post by maverick » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:05 am

Inciweb:
The Lions Fire started on the Sierra National Forest around June 1st as a lightning strike, and is burning near the Lion Point area in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. It crossed onto the Inyo National Forest on June 22 and is now being co-managed by both the Sierra and the Inyo National Forests. Due to strong winds the evening of June 23 of 20-30 mph, the fire spread to the south and west and is now about 1000 acres, 7 miles southwest of Mammoth Lakes.

The fire is burning at 6000-8000’ elevation in red fir with some growth to the southeast. Large areas of standing dead and down timber are within and surrounding the burning area. There is no present threat to structures or public safety.

The fire will be managed for multiple resource and protection objectives including suppression, air quality, firefighter safety and hazardous vegetation reduction. Because the fire is burning in designated wilderness, fire officials will be using MIST (Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics), such as using natural barriers for containment lines and minimizing mechanical disturbance with chainsaws or aircraft.

To maximize daylight work time, crews are camping near the fire and consist of four Type I hotshot crews and a Wildland Fire Module.

The communities near the fire can expect smoke impacts in varying degrees for the next two- three weeks. Air quality and smoke forecasts will be available as the incident progresses.
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/news/5850/
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Lions Fire 6/25 Impact

Post by maverick » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:25 am

NWS:
Most uncertainty in the forecast regards what extent smoke from the Lions Fire will have on our area. Yesterday the fire exploded with a very extensive smoke plume across northern Inyo County at sunset. Even now at 2 am, Bishop Airport is reporting 5 mile visibility. Experimental HRRR-Smoke and USFS Guidance shows the densest smoke, thus worst air quality staying along the eastern Sierra slopes and Owens Valley.
https://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action ... r=0&tabs=0
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Lions Fire 6/23-6/24 impact

Post by wreynier » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:25 am

Can confirm smoke impacts near Shadow Lake, JMT area north of Reds, and Mammoth. Impacts variable depending on wind direction, of course.

- Friday 6/22 - some smoke blowing north into Agnew Meadows Campground - enough to smell, but not enough to really obscure views
- Saturday 6/23 - no smoke at all on High trail or at Thousand Island Lake
- Sunday 6/24 - no smoke on JMT south towards Reds from Thousand Island Lake prior to 11 am, but from the pass south of Ruby Lake, could see a huge plume beyond the Shadow Lake drainage. Wind must have shifted, because by noon, we couldn't see the Minarets, and everything had an orange haze. We opted to hike out rather than spend a smoky night with bad skeeters at Ediza. From Shadow Lake, could just barely make out the up-drainage mountains. Visible ash floating down in Mammoth while we had a post-hike beer. Ended up driving north to spend the night on Sonora Pass out of the smoke. Was hazy all the way to Mono Lake.
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Lions Fire 6/25

Post by maverick » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:20 am

Inciweb:
June 25, 2018 The Lions Fire continues to burn in the Ansel Adams Wilderness area. Strong winds and dry conditions have resulted in the fire growing to 2,658 acres. The fire is burning in rugged and inaccessible terrain in the Stairway Creek drainage, north and west of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River.

Large areas of standing dead and down timber (red fir) are within and surrounding the burn area. Presently there is no threat to structures or public safety. All trails remain open at this time, including the Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail. Lateral trails leading into the fire area are being considered for closure in the near future. Hikers are advised to check the areas they are interested in going to before starting.

Firefighters are containing the spread by suppressing active burning and building direct and indirect fireline. The fire is being managed for multiple resource and protection objectives including suppression, air quality, firefighter safety and hazardous vegetation reduction. Because the fire is burning in designated wilderness, fire officials will be using MIST (Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics), such as using natural barriers for containment lines and minimizing line construction, only using hand construction. Additional resources have been ordered to assist in the implementation of fire objectives.

The communities near the fire can expect smoke impacts in varying degrees for at least the next week. Air quality and smoke forecasts will be available as the incident progresses.

There has been a Temporary Flight Restriction issued for a 5 mile radius around the fire. This does not impact flights landing at the Mammoth-Yosemite Airport.

To see smoke impacts in the area, visit webcams at Mammothmountain.com.
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5850/
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by cthenn » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:20 pm

Anyone been up to the Little Lakes Valley area recently, since this fire has grown? Planning a long dayhike in and around the area later this week, and I wonder if the smoke is infiltrating that far southeast of the fire. I've been scouring various online resources, and it seems like with the southwest wind, the smoke is not filtering down that far (at least at ground level). I'm not too worried about visibility, I'm more concerned with air quality. A long day huffing and puffing on the trail is not healthy if the PPM's are too high! Unfortunately, later this week the forecast is for a wind shift northwest, which would put us right in the plume.

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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by gary c. » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:06 am

Interested on the LLV and Mono Pass area also. We have permits to start out Sunday for Fourth/Third Recess's and Pioneer Basin. First it's the skeeters and now smoke to worry about. It may be an interesting hike this next week.
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Lions Fire impact on Humphreys Basin 6/22-6/25

Post by tomba » Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:53 am

The first two days, no smoke. Day 3 (the day the fire "exploded") there was some haze in the afternoon and quite a bit of smoke high up, blocking some sunshine and causing some cool down. Day 4 practically no haze. Thick smoke on 395 by Mammoth Lakes on the drive back.

The worst conditions on day 3:
DSC34759-smoke.jpeg
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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by maverick » Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:30 am

I'm not too worried about visibility, I'm more concerned with air quality. A long day huffing and puffing on the trail is not healthy if the PPM's are too high.
Smoke info here: http://californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com/
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by BayHiker » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:01 am

Sunday 6/24 - From the Ottaway Lakes area, I could see a bit of smoke to the south, and I started to smell it as I climbed up Red Peak Pass. Topping out at the pass, I could see more smoke off over the Minarets area.
Monday 6/25 - Moderate smoke in the Merced Peak Fork & Triple Peak Fork area. Nearby peaks looked hazy, I could no longer see Maclure, Lyell, etc. at all, and I could smell it / feel it in my throat.
sm-6240277.jpg
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EDIT: corrected names of peaks I'd misidentified.
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Last edited by BayHiker on Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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