July 28th, 2014
Another fire is taking off right now, this time very close to where the Aspen Fire started a year ago last week, near the Mammoth Pool Reservoir on the west side of the Sierra crest (in the Shaver/Huntington Lake area), according to Inyo National Forest Public Affairs Specialist Deb Schweizer.
This puts the fire, called the French Fire, west of Bishop about 40 miles and over the Sierra range crest as the crow flies from the Owens Valley.
The fire is about 1,000 acres, burning in heavy fuel, with limited access, as of late Monday evening, July 28.
A chemical spill that temporarily closed U.S. 395 south of Bridgeport and forced the evacuation of some nearby residents on Saturday, July 26, was likely caused by a driver of a semi truck swerving to avoid a deer, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The road is now open with no travel restrictions.
The incident occurred on the morning of July 26 as a driver of a semi truck was traveling northbound on U.S. 395 near Point Ranch when the driver braked for deer crossing the roadway and the cargo inside the box trailer shifted and began to leak, according to the CHP.
The El Portal Fire that started yesterday, July 26, near the community of El Portal near the S.R. 140 entrance of Yosemite National Park is now at 2,600 acres and is still threatening the communities of El Portal on S.R. 140, and the community of Foresta. The fire is five percent contained as of Monday, July 28 noon, according to fire officials. There is no estimate of full containment at this time.
Here is the latest from Yosemite National Park about park facilities and roads:
On July 22, 2014, at approximately 2:50 p.m., Andrew Hickey, 26, Reno, was driving a 2001 Dodge Durango northbound on U.S. 395 south of Swauger Canyon Road at 55 miles per hour. A shoe box size rock began to roll from the southbound dirt/rock embankment and across the highway, then rolled into the northbound lane causing Hickey to take evasive action and steer the vehicle to the left.
The series of storms that passed over the Eastern Sierra last week have caused damage to the several roads in the White Mountains and Inyo Mountains, where road washouts have occurred.
Roads in the Crooked Creek drainage, including the Crooked Creek Road (Forest Road 05S01), the Cottonwood Road (Forest Road 35E315) and the Wyman Canyon Road, require the ability to deal with difficult road conditions due to the damage done by the washouts.
The Forest Service is completing repairs on forest service roads.
A backpacker who got lost in the Cora Lake area near Sonora Pass spent the night of July 18 in the backcountry during the monsoon-driven rainstorms last weekend, before he was rescued the following day.
The rescue efforts began on the evening of Friday, July 18 at approximately 9 p.m., when Mono County Sheriffâ€™s dispatch received a call regarding a lost backpacker in the area of Cora Lake, approximately 12 trail miles south of S.R. 108, the Sonora Pass Road.
Highway patrolmen have it tough. On some days they also have it weird.
There are the usual feats of derring-do: uncooperative drunk drivers, the occasional OMG moments when weapons are involved, and … the ever-so-rare, 3 o’clock in the morning cat-wrestling match.
It happened on U.S. 395 near Conway Summit on Tuesday, July 22, according to a CHP spokesman in a news release.
The old mining road that struggles up the side of Broken Finger Peak isn’t most people’s idea of an ideal backcountry trip.
It’s 20 feet wide, and hot, even at 12,000 feet. It’s exposed, dropping like a shot down toward Pine Creek Canyon more than 5,000 feet below. It’s littered with old machinery, four-decade-old broken Coke bottles with half-inch thick glass, pieces of sun-beaten plastic and wire of indeterminate origin and use.
“Whoa! Who turned up the heat?”
“Fido, you have a short memory. It’s summer.”
“And who turned on the boom-box?”
“Once again Old Boy, you seem to have forgotten. Didn’t we go through this last year? And the year before that?”
“I don’t remember anything! I’m a dog! Hey hey hey hey!”
Six years after the idea of improving June Lake’s streets, the long-awaited $3.6 million rehab project will begin in September, the Mono County Board of Supervisors learned this past week.
In all, eight miles of pavement are to undergo resurfacing, beginning with the main drag through June Lake Village.
Having built Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra into a thriving entity, Kathy Copeland says she has set her sights on something bigger.
A graffiti artist known as “ZURG” is on the loose in Mammoth, but law enforcement artists known as “COPS” are in hot pursuit.
Police Chief Dan Watson said officers had not made any arrests in the case as of Wednesday, July 16, but the investigation “is continuing.”
Meanwhile, Town Manager Dan Holler said cleaup crews worked this week to erase the graffiti in advance of Jazz Jubilee, a popular event drawing tourists from throughout the United States.
The Mountain Boys are back in town. That would be Rusty Gregory and MMSA Vice-Prez Ron Cohen, who joined Tim Alpers in the sweltering capital for a little more arm-twisting on the Land Exchange bill, still awaiting the Senate’s blessing. The legislation already has been through the House twice. “I don’t want to find out if three times is a charm,” quipped an optimistic Cohen upon his return to the (relatively) cool mountains. …