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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Georges Fire 7/10 Update

Post by maverick » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:36 am

Inyo NF:
The #GeorgesFire (lightning-caused) has grown to an estimated 2,500 acres and is 10% contained. Command of the fire has transitioned to SoCal Team 3, a Type 2 incident management team.
Last night, fire behavior decreased when the winds died down. Crews used this opportunity to strengthen initial firelines to improve containment.
Today, fire crews continue to focus their suppression efforts on the southern flank of the fire because of concerns for the Whitney Portal area. Steep terrain and thick fuels are a challenge for crews in this area. Crews will continue to improve fireline along the east and north flanks. The west flank is burning into steep, inaccessible terrain. In this area, the fire will eventually “rock out” as the fire reaches the granite cliffs and the absence of fuel. The fire is burning in sage brush and transitioning to a pinyon-juniper forest at higher elevation. The monsoonal weather pattern will continue to bring lightning storms and gusty winds to the fire area.
The Whitney Portal area has been evacuated. This includes campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store. The Hogback and Whitney Portal Roads are closed. Additional road closures include the Foothill Road and Moffat Ranch Road as well as any other roads that enter the fire area. Please avoid the fire area for your safety and for our firefighters’ safety.
Hikers with permits for the Mt. Whitney Trailhead and the Shepherd Pass Trailhead cannot begin their hikes today from these trailheads. Hikers who picked up their permit to hike Mt. Whitney in advance may not hike the trail. The National Recreation Trail (from Lone Pine Campground) is also closed and may not be used as an alternative to get to Whitney Portal. The Inyo National Forest is also working with campers who hold reservations at Whitney Portal. The forest will re-evaluate access to these areas on daily basis based upon fire behavior and fire containment. The primary concerns are for the safety along the road and at Whitney Portal, not to the trail networks themselves.
Hikers who exit at Whitney Portal that do not have a vehicle may call a shuttle service (see attached) to arrange to be picked up. Shuttle services will only be assisting exiting hikers at this time as conditions permit.
There are 611 personnel assigned to the incident, including 20 crews, 27 engines, four dozers, five helicopters, three air tankers, and three water tenders assigned to the incident.
The Whitney Portal area has been evacuated. This includes the campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store. The Hogback and Whitney Portal Roads are closed. Hikers with permits for the Mount Whitney Trailhead and the Shepherd Pass Trailhead cannot begin their hikes until further notice.
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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by Dragonfly » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:35 am

You can zoom in on the Georges Fire to view the perimeter, and click the fire icon to view the latest information.

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewe ... 7%2C102100

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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by maverick » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:42 am

You can zoom in on the Georges Fire to view the perimeter, and click the fire icon to view the latest information.
Gracias. :)
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Georges Fire 7/11 Update

Post by maverick » Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:35 am

Inyo NF:
The Georges Fire (lightning-caused) is currently at 2,500 acres and is 30% contained. The fire is in Unified Command with SoCal Team 3, a Type 2 incident management team (assigned to the Inyo National Forest), CAL FIRE and the Inyo Sheriff’s Department. The fire started the afternoon of July 8, 2018.

Last night’s thunderstorms brought measurable precipitation to the fire. Although there was measurable precipitation, increasing temperatures and winds are expected to quickly dry out last night’s rain. Today’s weather is expected to be much like yesterday with a possibility of afternoon thunderstorms, chance for precipitation, and unstable winds.

Today, fire crews continue their suppression efforts constructing and improving the existing containment line on the southern flank of the fire, including the Whitney Portal area. Smoke columns may again be visible in the northwest area of the fire due to fire burning interior pockets of timber surrounded by rock. Firefighters continue to make good progress along the southern and northern flanks as the fire continues to hold within existing containment lines. Thick brush in steep terrain along the western flank remains a challenge for crews.

There are 640 personnel currently assigned to the incident, including 19 crews, 31 engines, 4 dozers, 8 helicopters, and 8 water tenders.

Evacuations are still in place in the Whitney Portal area. This includes campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store. The Hogback and Whitney Portal Roads are closed. Additional road closures include the Foothill Road and Moffat Ranch Road as well as any other roads that enter the fire area. Please avoid the fire area for your safety and for our firefighters’ safety.

Hikers with permits for the Mt. Whitney Trailhead and the Shepherd Pass Trailhead cannot begin their hikes from these trailheads until further notice. Hikers who picked up their permit to hike Mt. Whitney in advance may not hike the trail. The National Recreation Trail (from Lone Pine Campground) is also closed and may not be used as an alternative to get to Whitney Portal. The Inyo National Forest is working with campers who hold reservations at Whitney Portal. The forest will re-evaluate access to these areas on daily basis based upon fire behavior and fire containment. The primary concerns are for the safety along the road and at Whitney Portal, not to the trail networks themselves.

Hikers who exit at Whitney Portal that do not have a vehicle may call a shuttle service (see attached) to arrange to be picked up. Shuttle services will only be assisting exiting hikers at this time as conditions permit. Hikers exiting at Whitney Portal who have a vehicle parked at the trailhead may drive out from Whitney Portal as long as they check in at the closure to ensure it is safe.
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Georges Fire 7/11 Update

Post by maverick » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:32 pm

Inyo NF:
The Georges fire is 2,500 acres of large and 30 % content. The most active part of the fire is the northwest part. The fire is moving towards the inside of the inyo National Forest. During the night there was lightning accompanied with rain and strong winds. The rain helped fight the fire. Hot temperatures are expected today and more lightning during the night. Today, firefighters will continue to build the containment lines and focus on areas where there is flames and burning material. There's a total of 640 firefighters in the fire. The Whitney Portal area is still under evacuation.
The Inyo National Forest is planning to re-open the Whitney Portal Road and access to the Mt. Whitney Trailhead at 6:00 pm today. The Shepherd Pass Trail is also re-opening.

The evacuation is also being lifted for the Whitney Portal area, including campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store.

The opening is tentative and could change if unexpected fire behavior were to occur forcing the area to remain closed for public safety.

The Eastern Sierra Visitor Center in Lone Pine will begin issuing permits for both day and overnight hikers who have reservations for the Mt. Whitney Trailhead. They will also be re-issuing permits for hikers who were unable to complete their hike in the past few days due to the fire. They plan to remain open until 8:00 pm to assist hikers. The visitor center will be fully staffed and fire information officer will be available to update hikers on the Georges Fire.

In addition, hikers can request night box service by calling the Wilderness Permit Office at 760-873-2483 or 760-873-2573.The Wilderness Permit Office will be open until 7:30 pm to accommodate these requests.

We appreciate your continued patience as we work to re-open and re-issue these permits. In addition, parking at Whitney Portal will be extremely limited. Hikers are highly encouraged to use shuttles and carpools to help alleviate parking congestion.

The Eastern Sierra is a fire-adapted and fire-prone environment and wildfire is a reality here. The Inyo National Forest appreciates the efforts of SoCal Team 3, Cal Fire, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Bishop BLM Field Office, local fire departments, and all other partners who have made significant efforts to help get this area re-opened and their work to safely contain this fire.
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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, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Georges Fire 7/12 Update

Post by maverick » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:46 am

Inyo NF:
The Georges Fire (lightning-caused) is currently at 2,883 acres and is 42% contained. The fire is in Unified Command with SoCal Team 3, a Type 2 incident management team (assigned to the Inyo National Forest), and CAL FIRE San Bernardino/Inyo/Mono Unit. The fire started the afternoon of July 8, 2018.

With a moderation in fire behavior, the evacuation has been lifted for the Whitney Portal area, including campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store. The Whitney Portal Road was opened under the authority of the Inyo County Sheriff. The area was closed for the public’s safety due to the fire. The Eastern Sierra Visitor Center and the Wilderness Permit Office will return to normal business hours today.

Yesterday, fire crews worked on strengthening containment lines. Helicopters continued to support fire suppression efforts with water drops as needed.

There was no precipitation over the fire overnight. Firefighters will continue to mop up and patrol in the fire area. A general light southeast flow aloft will keep transporting moist and unstable air over the eastern Sierra leading to increased chances for showers and thunderstorms Thursday and Friday. Today will be mostly sunny becoming partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms in the morning, scattered showers through the day, and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Tonight, scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected with showers and thunderstorms after midnight.

There are 627 personnel currently assigned to the incident, including 19 crews, 31 engines, 4 dozers, 8 helicopters, and 8 water tenders. Fixed wing aircraft is available upon request.

Due to declining fire activity, there will only be a morning updates.

----

The Georges Fire is burning in an area designated as critical habitat for the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep, a federally-listed endangered species. The Georges Fire is improving wintering habitat for the bighorn sheep. It creates patches where pinyon/ juniper canopy cover is reduced. This is beneficial for the bighorn sheep because the woodlands are habitat for predators, such as mountain lions.
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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, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Inyo NF Fire Restriction In Effect 7/12

Post by maverick » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:33 am

Inyo NF:
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 July 14th, 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.
• Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit (available free of charge at visitor center or online at http://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.

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. 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
.
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, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by potatopants » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:16 pm

Thank you for all these updates. For the fire restriction, would you be able to explain what this means for thru hikers on the JMT?

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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by rightstar76 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:37 am

After carefully reading the fire restrictions, my understanding is that thru hikers on the JMT are NOT allowed to have any campfires. Also, fires to heat water or cook food are NOT allowed. Camping stoves are okay if they use gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel. I hope that answers your question.

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Ferguson Fire 7/16

Post by maverick » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:37 am

Inciweb:
Crews successfully held the fire along Highway 140 and protected structures as the fire showed significant growth to the south in Nutmeg and Devils Gulch area. Crews initiated several important new containment lines including Sweetwater Ridge on the southwest flank of the fire. Contingency lines are also being established on the fires eastern flank to check the fires movement toward Yosemite West. Structure protection engines have arrived and are setting up to protect homes and businesses between the Cedar Lodge area and Hite’s Cove. Additional engines are being inserted into Jerseydale and Yosemite West to formulate structure protection plans. Firefighters have also begun construction of contingency lines along Sweetwater Ridge south of fire and along the Pinache Ridge on the north flank of the fire. Firefighters are aggressively fighting the fire at locations where they have the highest probability of success and they have adequate time to construct the fire ahead of its advance.

Started 7/13, 9,266 Acres, and 2% contained.
Firefighters are continuing to focus on building indirect fireline.

Mandatory evacuations remain in effect in Clearing House; Mariposa Pines; Cedar Lodge/Savage’s Trading Post and Sweetwater Ridge

A Pre-evacuation Advisory has been issued for Yosemite West and along the Jerseydale Road to Scott Road and Scott Road to Bear Clover are under Fire Advisement. Residents should be prepared to evacuate should conditions change.

Hwy 140 is closed from 1.9 miles east of Midpines to the Cedar Lodge area MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE
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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, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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