Walker Fire update: Tioga Pass re-opens

– Press release from US Forest Service

The Tioga Pass Road between Highway 395 and the Yosemite National Park Entrance re-opened today at 1:00 p.m.

Photos courtesy US Forest Service

Photos courtesy US Forest Service

The road is opening without and escort. However, there will no stopping along the eastern six miles of the road. This will be strictly enforced. The fire remains active to the south of the road and this is essential for firefighter and public safety.

The campgrounds in Lower Lee Vining Canyon remain closed, including Lower Lee Vining, Moraine, Boulder, Aspen Grove, and Big Bend Campgrounds.

Walker Fire 4

The Upper Lee Vining Campgrounds are re-opening. These include Tioga Lake, Ellery Lake, Junction, Sawmill, and Saddlebag Campgrounds. Tioga Pass Resort and the Saddlebag Lake Resorts are open and the evacuation advisory is lifted.

“We would like to acknowledge the assistance of Cal Trans, California Highway Patrol, and the Mono County Sheriff for providing additional staff to safety re-open this road,” said Nate Rasner, Sierra Front Type 3 Team Incident Commander. “Their efforts help keep this route across the Sierra Nevada open as well as keep multiple recreational areas not affected by this fire available for visitor enjoyment.”

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Previous press releases from US Forest Service

At 6:00a.m. Monday, the Sierra Front Type III Incident Management Team led by Incident Commander, Nate Rasner, took over management of the Walker Fire.

The fire was first reported on August 14, 2015, at approximately 9:31p.m., and is currently burning approximately two miles southwest of Lee Vining. The fire is estimated at 3,700 acres with a 75 acre spot fire in Horseshoe Meadows.  This is a human-caused fire that is still under investigation.

Last night crews made significant progress was made with dozers and hand crews securing direct lines at the heel of the fire.

Today, firefighters throughout the region will continue to suppress the Walker Fire constructing containment lines on the west, south, and eastern flanks, supported by air operations.

The northern flank is showing active fire behavior and has led to further evacuations in Lee Vining Canyon (upper canyon campgrounds) and the closure of Highway 120 West (Tioga Pass) between 395 and the Yosemite National Park. Highway 120 will remain closed until noon tomorrowand will be reevaluated at that time if the pass can be reopened.

Crews will continue to strengthen firelines focusing on the northern flank. The fire is burning is mixed conifer, mahogany, and brush. Critical sage grouse habitat is also threatened. Visitors and residents should expect to see smoke from the June Lake and Lee Vining area and along Highway 395.

lres and Evacuations:

  • Walker Lake “Fishing Camp” has been evacuated.
  • A CodeRed Emergency Alert notice has been issued for Lee Vining and everything north of Double Eagle in June Lake (including Silver Lake and Grant Lake areas) for potential evacuations.
  • Highway 120 West (Tioga Pass) is closed between Highway 395 and the Yosemite National Park Entrance.
  • Campgrounds in the entire Lee Vining Canyon have been evacuated and are closed, including Lower Lee Vining, Moraine, Boulder, Aspen Grove, Big Bend, Junction, Ellery Lake, Tioga Lake Campground, Sawmill, and Saddlebag Campgrounds.
  • The Tioga Pass and Saddlebag Resorts are under an evacuation advisory.
  • The Walker Lake Road (1N17), the Parker Lake Rd. (1S25), the Upper Horse Meadows Rd. (1N16), and the Gibbs Road (1N18) are closed for fire operations and public safety. All of these roads are accessed via the northern end of the June Lake Loop. All spur roads off of these roads are also closed. The trail to Mono Pass (trailhead is at Walker Lake) is closed.
  • The Lee Vining area is becoming a center of fire operations and it is suggested that visitors should avoid this area.

Approximately 400 firefighters are on scene as well as numerous aircraft, dozers, and engines. Resources from Mono County, local fire departments, Cal Fire, neighboring forests BLM Bishop Field Office, and the Mono County Sheriff’s Office are assigned.  For more information on the Walker Fire you can got to the following sites: Inciweb:http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4515/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/inyonf https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mono-County-Sheriffs-Office/597961140216123

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The Walker Fire is estimated to be 2,200 acres and is 10% contained. The fire is northeast of Walker Lake and west of Lee Vining Canyon.

Additional fire crews arrived today. Fire crews made good progress on line construction today on the west, south, and eastern flanks, supported by air operations. However, the northern flank showed active fire behavior this afternoon and evening and led to further evacuations in Lee Vining Canyon (upper canyon campgrounds). Crews will continue to strengthen firelines tonight, focusing on the northern flank. Active fire behavior is expected tonight with low night-time relative humidity recovery.

Nate Rasner’s Type 3 Sierra Front team arrived today and was briefed on the Walker Fire. They assume command of the fire tomorrow morning at 6:00 am. The team will have a fire information line, 760-647-6472, to handle public and media inquiries.

Closures and Evacuations:

  • Walker Lake “Fishing Camp” has been evacuated.
  • A CodeRed Emergency Alert notice has been issued for Lee Vining and everything north of Double Eagle in June Lake (including Silver Lake and Grant Lake areas) for potential evacuations.
  • Highway 120 West (Tioga Pass) is closed between Highway 395 and the Yosemite National Park Entrance.
  • Campgrounds in the entire Lee Vining Canyon have been evacuated and are closed, including Lower Lee Vining, Moraine, Boulder, Aspen Grove, Big Bend, Junction, Ellery Lake, Tioga Lake Campground, Sawmill, and Saddlebag Campgrounds.
  • The Tioga Pass and Saddlebag Resorts are under an evacuation advisory.
  • The Walker Lake Road (1N17), the Parker Lake Rd. (1S25), the Upper Horse Meadows Rd. (1N16), and the Gibbs Road (1N18) are closed for fire operations and public safety. All of these roads are accessed via the northern end of the June Lake Loop. All spur roads off of these roads are also closed. The trail to Mono Pass (trailhead is at Walker Lake) is closed.
  • The Lee Vining area is becoming a center of fire operations and it is suggested that visitors should avoid this area.

The fire is burning is mixed conifer, mahogany, and brush. Critical sage grouse habitat is also threatened. Visitors and residents should expect to see smoke from the June Lake and Lee Vining area and along Highway 395.

Approximately 350 firefighters are on scene as well as numerous aircraft, dozers, and engines. Resources from Mono County, local fire departments, Cal Fire, neighboring forests BLM Bishop Field Office, and the Mono County Sheriff’s Office are assigned.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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The Walker Fire is estimated to be 1,200 acres and is 7% contained. The fire is northeast of Walker Lake and west of Lee Vining Canyon

Update: The fire remained active most of last night, including torching and spotting. Fire crews focused on line construction on the north and east flanks in an effort to contain the active fire edge. Dozer lines and strategic burning operations were completed last night. Crews will strengthen and extend these lines today in an effort to keep the fire west of Highway 395 and south of Highway 120 West (Tioga Pass). The forecast calls for hot and dry conditions today and active fire behavior is expected.

Closures and Evacuations:

  • Walker Lake “Fishing Camp” has been evacuated.
  • A CodeRed Emergency Alert notice has been issued for Lee Vining and everything north of Double Eagle in June Lake (including Silver Lake and Grant Lake areas) for potential evacuations.
  • Highway 120 West (Tioga Pass) between Highway 395 and Blue Slide (approximately 5 miles up-canyon from Highway 395) is closed.
  • Campgrounds in the Lee Vining Canyon have been evacuated and are closed, including Lower Lee Vining, Moraine, Boulder, Aspen Grove, and Big Bend Campgrounds.
  • The Walker Lake Road (1N17), the Parker Lake Rd. (1S25), the Upper Horse Meadows Rd. (1N16), and the Gibbs Road (1N18) are closed for fire operations and public safety. All of these roads are accessed via the northern end of the June Lake Loop. All spur roads off of these roads are also closed. The trail to Mono Pass (trailhead is at Walker Lake) is closed.
  • The Lee Vining area is becoming a center of fire operations and it is suggested that visitors should avoid this area.

The fire is burning is mixed conifer, mahogany, and brush. Critical sage grouse habitat is also threatened. Visitors and residents should expect to see smoke from the June Lake and Lee Vining area and along Highway 395.

Approximately 300 firefighters are on scene. There are five helicopters, 4 dozers, and numerous engines assigned and more resources are on order. Resources from Mono County, local fire departments, Cal Fire, the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest, the Tahoe National Forest, BLM Bishop Field Office, and the Mono County Sheriff’s Office are assigned.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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The Walker Fire, located north of Walker Lake, has been very active today. The fire is now being managed in unified Command with Mono County.

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Highway 120 West (Tioga Pass) between Highway 395 and Blue Slide (approximately 5 miles up-canyon from Highway 395) is closing for public safety.

Campgrounds in the Lee Vining Canyon, including Lower Lee Vining, Moraine, Boulder, Aspen Grove, and Big Bend have been closed due to the fire.

The Lee Vining area is becoming a center of fire operations and it is suggested that visitors should avoid this area.

Walker Lake is located northwest of June Lake, on the north end of the June Lake Loop. Approximately 20 structures are threatened and have been evacuated near Walker Lake.

us forest service

The Walker Lake Road (1N17) is closed for fire response and public safety. The trail to Mono Pass (trailhead is at Walker Lake) is also closed at this time for public safety.  Additionally, the Parker Lake Rd. (1S25), the Upper Horse Meadows Rd. (1N16), and the Gibbs Road (1N18) are closed for fire operations and public safety. All of these roads are accessed via the northern end of the June Lake Loop. All spur roads off of these roads are also closed.Top of Form

The fire is burning is mixed conifer, mahogany, and brush. Critical sage grouse habitat is also threatened.

Approximately 300 firefighters are on scene. There are five helicopters. Numerous resources from Mono County, local fire departments, Cal Fire, the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest, BLM Bishop Field Office, and the Mono County Sheriff’s Office are assisting.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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*** Please note that there are two Mono Passes on the Inyo National Forest. The Mono Pass accessed via Mosquito Flat from the Rock Creek Road remains opened.***

 

 

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