UPDATED 5:16 p.m. – Inyo National Forest Public Affairs Officer Nancy Upham confirmed that the smoke seen in the Eastern Sierra today has indeed been due to the Lion Fire.
Mammoth area residents are experiencing extremely smokey skies today, July 27, most likely due to the Lion Fire burning near Sequoia National Park.
“It’s the only fire that is producing this kind of smoke right now,” said Brett Reed of the Mammoth Lakes Fire Department, who added that a pilot flying up to Mammoth saw a blanket of smoke in the Olancha/Cartago area as well.
Ignited by lightning on July 8, the Lion Fire is located in the Golden Trout Wilderness on the Sequoia National Forest. According to an update on the Calfire website, the fire has burned approximately 14,020 acres. Some of this spread has been caused by aerial ignitions which help moderate the fire intensity and allow firefighters to focus on securing the perimeter and containing the fire.
“As active fire containment operations continue and the fire grows in the next few days, smoke should be expected in the Kern River Valley, eastern Sierra towns, and the mountain communities of Tulare County,” the website said.