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Cow Fire

Unit Information

Inyo National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
351 Pacu Lane
Bishop, CA 93514

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Incident Contact

Inyo National Forest
Email: debraaschweizer@fs.fed.us
Phone: 760-873-2427
Hours: M-F 8am - 430pm

Highlighted Activity

09/07/2019 Final Cow Fire Update
This will be the final update on the Cow Fire unless there are significant changes to report on the incident.The 1,975-acre Cow Fire remains 30 percent contained. Minimal smoke may be visible from...
News - 09/07/2019
Cow Fire smoke column and packing mules traveling to the firelineImage options: [ Full Size ]

The lighting-caused Cow Fire is burning remotely in the Golden Trout Wilderness on the Inyo National Forest. The wildfire is being managed as a suppression fire with a confine and contain strategy. Firefighters have been successful in reinforcing natural barriers to confine and suppress the fire in a safe manner, with minimal impact to the wilderness. The fire has grown to 1,975 acres and crews have secured 30 percent containment.

There will no long be regular updates on the incident unless there are significant changes to report. The public is encouraged to avoid the fire area. Post-fire hazardous such as fire weakened trees and burning stump holes may be present.

Minimal smoke may be visible from the Cow Fire until the area receives significant rainfall. Firefighters will continue to monitor the fire to ensure it stays within control lines. Containment will steadily increase as crews further secure control lines by identifying and extinguishing sources of heat along the fire perimeter.

The ecosystem within the Cow Fire footprint will benefit from the low-intensity fire effects observed on the landscape. Lightning-caused wildfires have a natural role to play in Eastern Sierra forest ecosystems. Burned materials recycle nutrients back into the soil which enriches it and stimulates vegetation growth. New grasses, shrubs and trees replenish and grow stronger while old growth stands become more resilient. Wildlife habitats are created and an increase in food becomes available for animals to forage. The hazardous accumulation of logs and overgrown surface fuels on the forest floor are reduced which diminishes the risk of severe wildfires in the future. Heat from fire opens the strong resin which holds seeds inside of the serotinous cones of Lodgepole Pine, allowing the species to reproduce.

Perimeter Map
Progression Map


Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning
Date of OriginThursday July 25th, 2019 approx. 12:00 AM
LocationGolden Trout Wilderness, Inyo National Forest
Incident CommanderMike Christian
Incident DescriptionWildfire Burning In High Elevation Forest.
Coordinates36.284 latitude, -118.228 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel31
Size1,975 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained30%
Estimated Containment DateFriday October 11th, 2019 approx. 12:00 PM
Fuels Involved

Timber - litter & understory

Significant Events

Fire continues to back actively through areas with continuous fuels and smolder in the large down logs.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Continue to bring the fire from the west to the east along the north side of the fire. On the south side, continue to strengthen the trail and meadow natural barriers to keep pace with the interior burning.

Projected Incident Activity

Increase in backing and flanking fire due to active interior burning and hand-firing along the perimeter.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Thunderstorms possible on Tuesday and Wednesday