For the second time in the past two weeks, Independence residents spotted plumes of smoke snaking into the sky, signaling another wildfire west of town in Onion Valley.
The flames erupted around 10 a.m. Sunday on the uphill edge of the Seven Pines cabin community, located off Onion Valley Road about seven miles from Independence. 
The Independence Volunteer Fire Department and Inyo National Forest firefighters responded quickly to the blaze and got it under control in less than three hours with help from Cal Fire crews and Bureau of Land Management personnel. Officials have not determined the cause of the fire, named the Robinson Fire. 
There were no reports of damages to any of the 19 cabins in Seven Pines, which are on long-term leases on Forest Service lands. The fire did appear to come extremely close to several cabins, with the flames actually burning in between several cabins along the banks of Independence Creek, which runs through the community.  
Seven Pines is located just above the U.S. Forest Service Upper and Lower Gray’s Meadows Campgrounds, which had several campsites occupied on Sunday morning. The campgrounds were not threatened by the Robinson Fire. Onion Valley Road remained open during the fire fight, providing access to and from the popular Kearsage Pass campground and trailhead. 
Calm winds helped the fire-fighting effort. For the most part, the wind blew the smoke and flames uphill, away from the Seven Pines cabins. 
Fire engines and water tenders were able to drive fairly close to the active flames. Several hand crews were visible soaking hot spots with hoses, cutting fire lines and putting out hot spots and smoldering trees and brush.  
The Robinson Fire was not as large or as destructive as the Onion Fire, which consumed about 85 acres on April 7, just several miles down Onion Valley Road from Seven Pines. A multi-agency response with crews working throughout two nights eventually contained the Onion Fire. That fire was caused by a campfire that was not fully put out at a dispersed campsite. 
In November 2020, the same general area of Onion Fire just inside the border of the Inyo National Forest was hit with another wildfire also caused by a dispersed campsite fire.
 

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