Since Sunday afternoon, July 21, the Sierra National Forest- High Sierra Ranger District has received significant lightning activity. These downstrikes have resulted in 15 new wildfires, the largest of which is the Aspen Fire. According to a July 23 press release from the Sierra National Forest, “Extreme fire behavior has been observed on the Aspen Fire, with spotting of over 600 feet ahead of the main fire. At one point late Tuesday afternoon, all crews were pulled off the fire line for safety reasons. The Aspen Fire has the potential to make large uphill runs and threaten the Stump Springs Road area. Sierra National Forest officials have ordered the Central Sierra Type 2 Incident Management Team for the incident.”
Smoke and ash were seen in Mammoth Lakes on the evening of July 23 and smoke was seen all throughout the day on July 24. The fire is burning southwest of Mammoth Lakes near the Mammoth Pool Reservoir on the Sierra National Forest. According to Sierra National Forest spokeswoman Kelly Hooten, as of 6 a.m. on July 24, the fire had burned between 2,000 and 3,000 acres and was 0% contained. Hooten said there were several forest service crews and services fighting the fire and it was the number one priority for the forest. Hooten also said several campgrounds in the area near the fire had been evacuated. Mammoth Pool Reservoir is located 90 miles from Fresno on the San Joaquin River and borders Madera and Fresno counties. As the crow flies it is approximately 20 miles from Mammoth Lakes.
Information on the fire has now been posted on the InciWeb site: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3552