Taboose Fire smoke reappears as winds increase; No threat to life, property

Times Staff Report

According to the Inyo National Forest, the Taboose Fire, which has been mostly smoke-free for the past few weeks, has “shown some interior smoke in the past several days along the western flank, where warming and drying of unburned fuels has allowed fire activity to increase.

The warm fall temperatures are the main reason, according to the forest, and crews are monitoring the fire carefully to be sure it does not get out of control.

That said, the fire could show more smoke over the next few days as a cold front moves in, bringing strong winds with it.

“Currently, there are a few acres of active fire at high elevation, confined by rocks and burned areas,” said Deb Schweizer, public information officer with the forest. “However, on the northern side of the active fire, there is an area of unburned fuels that the fire could grow into. With wind predicted on Tuesday, it is anticipated that the fire will remain active in this area.

She said the fire remains 10,296 acres and at 75 percent containment since the active fire is within the interior of containment lines. The western flank is in steep and inaccessible terrain in the John Muir Wilderness. Here the fire will be confined by either rain or snow or its spread will be stopped by rock barriers, she said.

Visitors and residents will see smoke, especially along the Hwy. 395 corridor, the forest said. Please do not report the smoke. Currently, the south, east, and north flanks are secure and there is no threat to life or property.

Gusty wind and low relative humidity are in the forecast for this week and fire crews will continue to monitor and patrol in areas where the fire is active.

Closures: The Taboose Creek Road is closed beyond the campground. The Inyo National Forest has issued a Forest Closure for the Taboose Fire area until further notice. This includes The Red Lake Trail and the Taboose Creek Trail. Please respect the closure order, as it is put in place to protect the safety of the public and the firefighters. Wildfire compromises the integrity of trees and soil, making them unpredictable hazards. This closure order has been implemented to allow firefighters the ability to work efficiently and navigate the fire line safely while also protecting the public from hazards in the area.