Lions Fire Slows Growth; Smoke Still Possible Near Mammoth

Staff Writer

The Lions Fire continues to grow, but at a much slower rate than last week this time.

Here is the most recent update from the Inyo National Forest this morning, June 29:

"Portions of the Lions Fire have burned into areas where the vegetation is less dense and the fire has slowed its progression, though areas of dense fuel remains in the fire’s path. It is now 3,107 acres, having gained just 100 acres since yesterday. Winds are expected to shift to the northeast today and tonight, and may be gusty at times. Crews will continue working on building and securing containment lines primarily along the east edge of the fire, south of Summit Meadow, and the southwest edge where it abuts the previously burned area of the Butte Fire. The southeastern edge of the fire is in rugged, inaccessible terrain that rises above the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River and will be secured using aircraft.

"The lightning caused fire was detected in early June and is currently burning in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. It is located primarily in the Stairway Creek drainage, north and west of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River.

"All recreational services and areas are open in and around Mammoth Lakes. Shuttle service to Devils Postpile National Monument is running and trails there remain open. The Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail are open at this time. Smoke may be present in some places, though concentrations will vary. The following lateral trails leading into the fire area will be closed in the near future: Sierra NF: 26E01 (Mammoth Trail) to the Inyo NF Boundary, 26E56, 26E14, and 2646 from the Inyo NF boundary. Inyo NF trail closures include 26E01 from the Sierra NF to 2601 junction, and 2601 from the boundary of the Inyo NF and Devils Postpile National Monument (King Creek Trail).

"Wildland fire is an integral and necessary part of maintaining a healthy ecosystem in the Sierra Nevada. Fire serves to naturally remove the accumulation of excess wildfire fuel. The Lions Fire will also help diminish the risk of larger, more severe fires in the future. The fire is currently staffed by 352 people, including seven handcrews and seven helicopters. The handcrews are remaining overnight at spike camps around the fire’s perimeter and are being supplied via mules and helicopters.

Air quality and smoke forecasts are available at

https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=topics.smoke_wildfires

For more information about smoke conditions in the area, visit webcams at www.mammothmountain.com and the alert tab at nps.gov/DEPO

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

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