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Aspen Wildfire in the Sierra National Forest Update for Wednesday Evening, July 31, 2013

Aspen Wildfire in the Sierra National Forest Update for Wednesday Evening, July 31, 2013

Up-date 7:25 P.M.

14,400 acres. 35% containment. Cost to date of $12.8 million. 1,904 personnel on scene. 

The Aspen Fire was discovered on Monday, July 22 burning on the Sierra National Forest- High Sierra Ranger District. The fire is burning around Stump Springs Road north of Aspen Springs.

Additional resources continue to arrive, assisting in fire suppression. Sierra National Forest initial suppression efforts, crews were able to keep the fire from burning into the Kaiser Wilderness. Firefighter and public safety remains the highest priority.

The South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team assumed command of the Aspen Fire at 6:00 P.M. July 24, 2013. The team is working with the Sierra National Forest to manage suppression efforts.

Smoke from the Aspen Fire is impacting air quality in local communities. Individuals sensitive to smoke are suggested to remain indoors and keep windows closed, to minimize exposure to smoke.

The fire is in steep, rugged, inaccessible terrain. There is no imminent threat to the communities of Big Creek or Huntington Lake at this time.

For most recent fire information click on the recent articles on the right.

Road and Trail Closures

Roads:

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.

Trails:

Per the U.S. Forest Service Closure Order number 15-13-09, the Kaiser Wilderness is closed.

Evacuations

Additional campground closures went in to affect as a precautionary measure. 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

-Wagners Mammoth Pool Resort

Campgrounds closed to support firefighting efforts:

-Rancheria

-Badger Flat

-Midge Creek


Basic Information

Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Lightning
Date of Origin Monday July 22nd, 2013 approx. 10:15 PM
Location seven miles north of Big Creek
Incident Commander David Cooper

Current Situation

Total Personnel 1,904
Size 14,332 acres
Percent Contained 35%
Fuels Involved

Timber with mixed chaparral

Fire Behavior

Fire continued to be active throughout the north and east sides of the fire. Temperature is increasing and humidity decreasing.

Significant Events

The closure of Stump Springs road remains in effect. The Sierra National Forest has issued a Forest Closure Order for the Kaiser Wilderness. A precautionary evacuation of campgrounds west of the San Joaquin River on Forest Road 4S81 are in place.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Continue to build and prepare indirect line on the north and east side of the fire.

Growth Potential

High

Terrain Difficulty

Extreme

Remarks

Fire burned actively last night. Indirect line preparation for firing operations on the east side of the fire. The Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT)- DC-10 continues to be utilized on the fire for retardant application. Crews continue to use direct attack when possible.

Current Weather

Wind Conditions 6-11 mph SW
Temperature 84-89 degrees
Humidity 13-23%

ASPEN FIRE INFORMATION

Update #14

Release for Wednesday, July 31, 2013/Time: 7:00 PM

 

Incident Statics

Acres Burned: 14,400                                                                        

Structures Threatened:            3

Containment:              35%                                                                            

Structures Damaged:              0

Fire Start Date:           July 22, 2013                                                              

Injuries:                                   2

Fire Cause:                  Lightning                                                                   

Total Personnel:                      1904

Cost to date:               $12.8 million

Summary

  • The Fire is located within the Sierra National Forest in Fresno County and is approximately seven miles North of Big Creek. It 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.
  • The inversion layer continues to cause 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.

Fire Update

  • Firefighter and public safety remains the highest priority. Fire crews are being sensitive to environmental and cultural resources in and around the fire area.
  • Today, fire crews continued to make good progress with indirect attack operations, but access and fire behavior are still a major safety concern for fire crews. Air and ground resources continue to construct and reinforce indirect line around the fires perimeter. The Very Large Aircraft (VLAT) DC-10 was also utilized in the effort.
  • 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. Crews will utilize firing operations over the next three days to assist with enforcing containment lines. Firing operations are actions taken to remove unburned fuels between the active fire line and the contingency lines which fire crews have been creating over the past several days. The operation will put additional smoke into the atmosphere. 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

Road and Trail Closures

Roads:

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.

Trails:

Per the U.S. Forest Service Closure Order Number 15-13-09, all trails within the Kaiser Wilderness are closed.

Closures

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

Fish Creek

 

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 Governor’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.                                                             

Updated information can also be obtained at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3552/ or by following the Sierra National Forest Twitter Account:@sierra_nf
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