Lions Fire Hits 2,000 Acres; Smoke Likely All Week, at Minimum

Times Staff Report

The Lions Fire burning above Reds Meadow Valley is now at about 2,000 acres and continues to burn in the Ansel Adams Wilderness area according to a June 25 news release from the Inyo National Forest.

"Strong winds and dry conditions have resulted in the fire growing to about 2,000 acres. The fire is burning in rugged and inaccessible terrain in the Stairway Creek drainage, north and west of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River."

This is located west and south of Reds Meadow Valley, high above the valley on a rocky outcropping and in a place near where a fire last summer burned some acreage.

Large areas of standing dead and down timber (red fir) are within and surrounding the burn area, according to the Inyo. "Presently there is no threat to structures or public safety.

"All trails remain open at this time, including the Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail.

"Lateral trails leading into the fire area are being considered for closure in the near future. Hikers are advised to check the areas they are interested in going to before starting.

"Firefighters are containing the spread by suppressing active burning and building direct and indirect fireline," the news release states. "The fire is being managed for multiple resource and protection objectives including suppression, air quality, firefighter safety and hazardous vegetation reduction."

Because the fire is burning in designated wilderness, fire officials will be using MIST (Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics), such as using natural barriers for containment lines and minimizing line construction, only using hand construction, the news release states.

"Additional resources have been ordered to assist in the implementation of fire objectives.

"The communities near the fire can expect smoke impacts in varying degrees for at least the next week. Air quality and smoke forecasts will be available as the incident progresses.

"There has been a Temporary Flight Restriction issued for a five mile radius around the fire. This does not impact flights landing at the Mammoth-Yosemite Airport," the news release states.

To see smoke impacts in the area, visit webcams at Mammothmountain.com.

For more information, see Lions Fire https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/news/5850/ or call 760-582-5203.

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