Smoke from the Aspen Fire, 50 miles west of Bishop, continues to impact local communities. Officials said Monday that it may take up to two weeks to fully contain the blaze. Photo by Mike Gervais
The Aspen Fire, located within the Sierra National Forest in Fresno County about seven miles North of Big Creek continues to grow. As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, the fire had grown from 11,101 to 14,147 acres. It is currently 25 percent contained.
The fire is currently burning off Stump Springs Road, North of Aspen Springs. The South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team is in command of the Aspen Fire.
Over the past several days, the inversion layer has caused smoke to accumulate in the low laying areas of the fire which hampers visibility of firefighters on the ground and in the air. As the smoke clears in the early afternoon, a more defined smoke column(s) may be seen from several miles away. As the evening progresses, the inversion returns causing the smoke to return into the lower levels.
Recreation and businesses remain open in the Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake, Lake Thomas Edison, Florence Lake and the Mono Hot Springs areas.
Firefighter and public safety remains the highest priority. Fire crews are being sensitive to environmental and cultural resources in and around the fire area.
Last night, infrared images showed increased growth along the northern, eastern and southeastern perimeter of the fire. Fire crews made good progress with indirect attack operations.
Due to the extremely steep, rugged and inaccessible terrain, fire crews are using a tactic called indirect attack which creates control lines away from the fires active edge. Air resources, including several helicopters and air tankers are being utilized along the fire-line to slow the forward progress of the fire and to cool down hot spots. As the situation changes and firefighters can safely gain access to the fire, a more direct attack will be implemented.
Smoke from the Aspen Fire continues to impact air quality in local communities. Individuals sensitive to smoke are advised to remain indoors and keep windows closed to minimize exposure to smoke. For more information regarding smoke visit: www.valleyair.org
Stump Springs Road is closed to all traffic due to fire suppression activity. Minarets Road (4S81) from Fish Creek to Jackass Rock Organization Campground, Grizzly at Beasore Road to Minarets Road are closed to the public. Residents within the road closure are allowed into the area with valid identification.
Campground closures within the Sierra National Forest are as follows:
Sample Meadow West Kaiser
Jackass Rock Organization Lower Chiquito
Little Jackass Soda Springs
Placer Sweet Water
China Bar Rock Creek
Mammoth Pool Wagners Mammoth Pool Resort
The following campgrounds are closed to house firefighters for suppression efforts:
Midge Creek, Badger Flat and Rancheria.
Cooperating agencies include
The U.S. Forest Service, National Parks Service, U.S. Department of Defense, National Weather Service, California Governorâ€™s Office of Emergency Services, Fresno County Sheriff, Madera County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Southern California Edison, PG&E, California Conservation Corp.
For more information on this press release or if you have questions regarding the information, please contact the Aspen Fire Information line at (559) 893-7018. Updated information can also be obtained at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3552/ or by following the Sierra National Forest Twitter Account:@sierra_nf