June Fire update

 

Photo - R.D. Cohan

Update:

June Fire Grows to 65 Acres- Crews Make Good Progress

The June Fire is estimated to be 65 acres and 50% contained.

Today, a coordinated effort included strategic retardant and water drops to help “box the fire”

Photos by R.D. Cohan

Photos by R.D. Cohan

and cool hot spots along the edge while multiple crews improved fireline on the southeast flank as well as continuing line construction to the north and western flanks.  Crews used the shaded fuel break to assist in line construction near the community. The fire is burning in an area with multiple dead and downed trees in the mixed conifer forest.

The concern for today was strong, erratic, and gusty winds over the fire area. Firefighters on the ground as well as air attack are being diligent to try to detect possible spots outside the fire perimeter as a result of this wind event.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team has arrived. SoCal Team 3, under Incident Commander Mike Wakoski, received a briefing the local fire staff this evening. The Incident Command Post is being set up in Lee Vining.

 

Photo - Tom Okeefe

Photo – Tom Okeefe

Evacuations remain in effect and are mandatory east of June Mountain and south of Hwy 158.  Highway 158 is closed at the south junction with Highway 395 and remains closed north to Rainbow Lane. Closures along the Highway 158 corridor were better defined today and will be strictly enforced. Do not enter closure areas—numerous firefighters and equipment are in these areas. The closures are for your safety and firefighter safety.

There are no reports of damage to property at this time and structure protection is in place.  Mono County Sheriff began escorts for evacuated residents today. These brief escorts allow residents to gather essential needs from their home. Mono County Social Services has opened the June Lake Community Center  as an emergency shelter.

June Lake and Gull Lake remain closed for boats and flotation devices as these lakes will be used as dipping sites for aerial operations. The Reversed Creek Campground, the June Lake Campground, and the Gull Lake Campground are closed.

Southern California Edison has powered down power lines at the request of firefighters for firefighter safety. Additionally a section of fiber optic cable was burned in fire—affecting cell coverage in June Lake. Verizon is ready to replace the cable as soon as it is safe to do so.

Numerous resources from California Office of Emergency Services, CHP, Cal Trans, Cal Fire, Mono County, Inyo County, local fire departments, US Forest Service, and BLM are assisting.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Please look for updates on the forest’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/inyonf) and Mono County Sheriff’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/Mono-County-Sheriffs-Department).

June Fire Estimated to be 50 Acres

The June Fire, which started at the base of June Mountain yesterday, is estimated to be 50 acres and 0% contained.  Fire behavior includes torching, spotting, and active runs.

Night crews made good progress constructing line along the south flank of the fire, which is nearest to the community. Burning operations were conducted along this line to remove fuels that could feed the main fire. Crews also began line construction along the eastern flank of the fire (near June Mountain Ski Area) and working up the mountain.

The focus today will remain on securing and anchoring this southeast flank and then to continue line construction along the fire’s edge further up the mountain.  Cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity is in the forecast today; however erratic and gusty winds are forecast for the fire area today.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered. SoCal Team 3, under Incident Commander Mike Wakoski, is travelling today and will in-brief with the local fire staff this evening.

Structures are threatened.  Evacuations are mandatory east of June Mountain and south of Hwy 158.  Highway 158 is closed at the south junction with Highway 395 and remains closed north to Rainbow Lane. Closures along the Highway 158 corridor will be better defined today and will be strictly enforced. Do not enter closure areas—numerous firefighters and equipment are in these areas. The closures are for your safety and firefighter safety.

There are no reports of damage to property at this time and structure protection is in place.  Mono County Sheriff will begin escorts for evacuated residents today. These escorts will be brief and allow residents to gather essential needs from their home. Mono County Social Services has opened the June Lake Community Center  as an emergency shelter.

June Lake and Gull Lake are closed today for boats and flotation devices as these lakes will be used as dipping sites for aerial operations. The Reversed Creek Campground and the Gull Lake Campground are closed.

Southern California Edison has powered down power lines at the request of firefighters for firefighter safety. This is affecting cell coverage and power in the area.

Numerous resources from California Office of Emergency Services, Cal Fire, Mono County, Inyo County, local fire departments, US Forest Service, and BLM are assisting.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Please look for updates on the forest’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/inyonf) and Mono County Sheriff’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/Mono-County-Sheriffs-Department).

 

17 Responses to June Fire update

  1. Mark September 17, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    There is no such thing as “mandatory evacuation”.

     
    • Benett Kessler September 17, 2014 at 10:27 am #

      If you want to live, there is. BK

       
      • Mark September 17, 2014 at 11:15 am #

        I would agree some would want to leave if they don’t have the clearance.

        I cut down every last Pine Tree on my property. I didn’t like the fire risk and I got sick and tired of the Pine needles.

         
    • Wayne Deja September 17, 2014 at 11:43 am #

      Mark….Here I go agreeing with you again….When some agencies over-react and start with the “mandatory evacuation” thing,what it does is make people not take things serious in future instances when it would be a good idea to evacuate your home or area…examples are the numerous sunami warnings and evacuations over-seas whenever there is an earthquake in the ocean…or like with Katrina,when people there didn’t take it as serious as they should have because of the numerous earlier hurricane warnings they have and “mandatory evacuations” that happen down in the South whenever it rains and the wind blows more than 30 MPH…..closer to home,I won’t go into that again and risk getting hundreds of “dislikes” with the stories I tell(and others I could tell,but don’t)…but I do have to say,with this one here,the June fire,maybe it would be a good idea to leave when “told” to do so….the one-street in-and-out of town thing going on,the numerous fire department vehicles coming into the area,and tourists from L.A.unfamiliar with the area or what to do. Hope this fire is out soon…..a beautiful area to be burning.

       
    • Steve September 17, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

      We should never forget Black Saturday 2009. 173 Australian residents died because they refused to evacuate. When firefighters asked residents to leave, the people said “not until I see firetrucks on my street.” I understand what you’re saying Mark. It’s a judgement call. I’ve been kicked out of my Big Pine home twice and I have no trees on my property. If they didn’t shut off my water, I feel like I would have a good chance to save my home myself. But common sense would prevail, and I would end up paying the deductible and let the insurance take care of the rest.

       
  2. wilderbeast September 17, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    Actually, Mark….there is. A mandatory evacuation is issued when it is felt that residents are in imminent danger from the spread of the fire. It means there is a good probability that firefighters cannot guarantee your safety or your home’s safety because of wild fire that is approaching. The Sheriff is not going to drag you out of your home if you elect to stay but if you leave, you will not be allowed back in till the evacuation is lifted. If push comes to shove, your could be told to leave but few counties in CA have the staffing or inclination to arrest folks who stay behind. If you do elect to drive around while staying behind, expect to stopped by law enforcement and have your ID checked. An evacuation is not something that is done lightly. Fire managers weigh all their options and that one is chosen when conditions are severe enough to warrant it.

     
    • Mark September 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

      I’ve been through three so-called mandatory evacuations where I currently live and four where I previously lived.

      The last time the Sheriff came by told me to leave I said I’m staying. They then asked me to sign something so they could notify my next of kin if I don’t make it.

      I told them I’m not signing anything to stay on my own property.

      The fact is I would never live somewhere where I had to rely on fire fighters to save my home in the event of a brush fire. Growing up in Alaska we learned to take care of ourselves and save our own arse. It’s a whole lot different then the mind set of Californians where someone must protect the sheep.

       
      • Bob September 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

        The fact IS, you DO live somewhere where a fire fighter will try to save and protect your home. You should sign what LE asks you to do. It’s idiots like you that make keeping people safe a long drawn out process. I’m all for staying and protecting your property, but LE and fire officials want to know who is staying behind. Don’t be surprised if they ask you for the name of your dentist so they can match your charred remains to dental records and notify your next of kin you were the idiot that stayed behind to protect his ass….

         
      • Tinner September 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

        Oooooh…Mr. Toughguy from Alaska…

         
      • Pedro September 17, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

        Mark,
        Sure, many evacuations are overly reactionary, but have seen hundreds of embers flying horizontally for hundreds of feet and sixty foot trees burst into flames and crown out just from the heat far away from actual flames. Don’t overestimate your “clearance”.

        And why the hell do people move to forest and clear cut their property? Plenty of open desert around here already.

         
  3. Wayne Deja September 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    wilderbeast….One more comment,and that’s it for the day….going fishing…It’s the residents choice whether to leave or not…some don’t expect,look for,or ask the fire department or “authorities” to “guarantee their safety”..The key to what you say here is,if you do leave,THEN it IS up to the “authorities” when your allowed to come back home,and in many instances,their decisions seem to border on the ridiculous.Back in 2003,I had a girlfriend that was visiting the Big Bear area when that huge fire broke out miles away from where they were at….they were “told”to evacuate,and they did leave…….and then not allowed to come back to THEIR home days after the fire was nearly totally contained and they (the “authorities”) seen it as out of danger….being told the fire was all but out,but the wind was “supposed” to pick up the next few days or so.Again,I’ll say ,with this June fire,maybe a good idea to leave…maybe get a nice,little room in Lee Vining for a day or two and do some fishing on Lee Vining Creek,the VERY BEST trout creek the Sierras’ has to offer.

     
  4. Mr. Pickles September 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    The folks that refuse to evacuate from floods, fires, hurricanes etc. are the same ones that cry for help when these disasters reach their homes. Then, it is too late. You can cry for help as loud as you can but no one is going to hear you. A sensible person listens to the experts and leaves the area.

     
    • Wayne Deja September 17, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

      Mr.Pickles…..Problem with that is, it seems when there is a problem near-by or at your doorstep,from what I’ve seen (not just around here,but most everywhere), when or if it happens, there are way too many “experts” that turn out not to be so expert.

       
  5. Tony Cumia September 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    It was cause by sparks from heavy equipment that JM employees were using at the bottom of Gull Canyon

     
  6. Neil Ringlee September 17, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    I was fishing Silver Lake when I saw the smoke to the east and I just knew at that point that a part of Paradise was going up. We have had such a devastating three years in California with the dry conditions and now this. The June Lake Loop has been a paradise for so long it really offends me to think that even there reality sets in.

    Fire safety has to be number one on everyone’s agenda. We are in a very vulnerable state in this State and we need to pay attention.

    I imagine there will be a lot of finger pointing. Someone please tell me what the recovery plan is.

     
  7. nemestrinus September 18, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    As a resident of the evacuated area, it was necessary to respect the “mandatory evacuation,” We experience the same thing in this area of June Lake whenever there is an extreme avalanche danger during the winter months. The biggest danger was from the possibility of flying embers carried by winds. Our local law enforcement officers were not harsh in their enforcement of this: they were simply following the established protocol for public safety. We were always able to visit our homes, but we were not supposed to stay there overnight.

    We owe great gratitude to the firefighting team and responders from throughout California and nearby Nevada for an effective response There is a scar in the forest on the hillside, but it will heal!

     

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