Page 2: Mammoth Rocks
Go to the show this weekend. And make sure to catch In The Led (they play both days). It is a Led Zeppelin tribute band from the L.A. area. The prime selling point for the group is that the lead vocalist (Chas West) was the singer for the Jason Bonham Band. Jason is the son of Led Zeppelin’s drummer, the late John Bonham. West won Best Male Vocalist in 2012 at the South Bay Music Awards in L.A.
Was surprised to learn that Dion Agee is out as the heir apparent at the Mammoth Lakes Foundation. He had been tapped as Evan Russell’s eventual successor last August.
A couple of official looking “reporters” were detained on the scene of the Walker Fire Monday, one arrested. The two tried to get past the fire barriers to either steal equipment or hand-off drugs to prisoners working the lines. One guy stole some camping items from a site at Sawmill Campground near Tioga Pass.
“This incident serves as a reminder to beware during the fire incident of looters,” the Sheriff’s Department said. “If you see any suspicious looking people or circumstances, please contact the Mono County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 932-7549 ext. 7 and report the incident.”
According to the Mono County Sheriff’s, at 4:30 p.m., deputies at the Walker Fire Incident Command Post got a call about “two suspicious males claiming to be media representatives wanting to cover the fire.”
The pair, Aaron Browne, 44, of Meadow Vista, and 33-year old Payton Ware, of Elk Grove, had suspicious credentials and were trying to access the fire. The two were dressed in new “firefighter type gear, with a ‘Wildland Fire Fighter’ hat on, with no designation of any identifying geographical area or crew name.” The white pickup truck Browne was driving was full of fire and camping gear, including “line lunches” from several other fires, according to the statement from the Sheriff’s department.
“Due to the suspicious media credentials, it was believed that Mr. Browne and Mr. Ware were trying to gain access to the fire ground. People try to gain access to fire grounds for reasons such as to steal equipment and supplies or to attempt to contact California Department of Corrections inmate fire crews to smuggle contraband or weapons to the inmates,” the department said.
Their credentials were checked and proved to be false, and Browne verified as a convicted felon. A canister of pepper spray was found in the vehicle and Browne was arrested for a felon in possession of pepper spray. Ware was released at the scene.
The next day, deputies on scene of the Walker Fire were dispatched to Sawmill Campground on Highway 120 for a report of stolen campsite property.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, some campers at the Sawmill Campground saw “a transient hiker in their camp space. A locked bear box was broken into and camping supplies were missing. The campers detained the transient hiker and contact law enforcement for assistance.”
Deputies searched the hiker’s campsite, with his consent, and found the stolen gear. The property was returned, the campers didn’t want to prosecute and the hiker was released on the scene.
And from Inyo Forest Public Information Officer Deb Schweizer, here’s the update on the Walker Fire as of Thursday:
Size: 3,715 acres
Percent Contained: 45%
Resources: 3 Helicopters, 0 Seats, 0 Air Tankers
34 Engines Crews, 6 Water Tenders, 2 Dozers
Total Personnel: 477
Injuries/Illnesses to Date: 0
Structures Threatened: 235
Structures Lost: 0
Estimated Containment: 8/23/2015
Date Started: 8/14/2015
The Code Red Emergency Alert notice issued for Lee Vining and everything north of Double Eagle in June Lake (including Silver Lake and Grant Lake areas) for potential evacuations has been lifted.
Campgrounds in the Lower Lee Vining Canyon will remain closed through the weekend. These areas include: Lower Lee Vining, Moraine, Boulder, Aspen Grove and Big Bend campgrounds.