Lions Fire Update 8/8/18
The Lions Fire is estimated at 8,484 acres with 70% containment, for an increase of 346 acres. There are 178 personnel committed to the fire, including 6 crews, 4 helicopters, and a pack string of mules from the Stanislaus National Forest.
The south and east flanks of the fire have been inactive and contained for some time. The northeast flank has been secured through line construction and burnout operations. Yesterday crews completed their strategic burning activities here.
The fire remains active along the southwest flank and crews here are focused on completing hand line that will prevent the fire from crossing the North Fork of the San Joaquin River with direct and indirect tactics (based upon safety); using trail networks and natural barriers where possible. Along the northwest flank, the fire is moving into sparse fuels and cliffs. Most of the smoke production is from the burnout of interior islands of unburned fuel. The fire continues to slowly grow to the west.
Yesterday’s observed fire activity included moderate fire behavior with backing, flanking, and creeping. There has been 50% tree mortality from bark beetles and drought in this area. These conditions, along with blowdown from a 2011 wind event, have contributed to a buildup of heavy fuels, creating difficult fire fighting conditions.
Hot and dry conditions remain in the forecast with light southwest winds expected for today, and gusty winds in the afternoon. There is a significant warming and drying trend predicted for this week.
The Reds Meadow Road and all services in the Reds Meadow Valley, including Devils Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls, remain open.
Closures: There is an emergency trail closure for the Fern Lake and Beck Lake Trails on the Inyo National Forest and emergency trail closures and a Forest Order to close the area on the Sierra National Forest (west of the North Fork of the San Joaquin River, north of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River and South of Iron Creek).
Smoke: See the smoke outlook report in Photographs or visit https://airnow.gov/