[Update: Read our latest story on the fire from Tuesday, July 30 here.]
Deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Aspen Fire has grown to over 11,000 acres. The blaze has been burning in steep, rugged, and inaccessible terrain since last Monday evening, and fire crews only started making a dent in containing the blaze Friday. Containment is currently at 20 percent.
The lightning-caused blaze is burning in Sierra National Forest in Fresno County, seven miles north of the community of Big Creek. Since inception, smoke has become an issue, from the Eastern Sierra to Shaver Lake and into many counties, including Mariposa, Madera, and Calaveras. Four hikers who became disoriented by the smoke called 911 for help last week.
Nearly 1,500 people are assigned to the fighting the fire for a total -- so far -- of $5.7 million. No injuries have been reported, nor structures damaged, although three are listed as threatened in the latest bulletin provided by the fire command team.
All trails in Kaiser Wilderness and 16 campgrounds remain closed, as well as Stump Springs Road (see camping closure list on our earlier story). Minarets Road between Fish Creek and Jackass Rock Organization Campground and Beasore Road between Grizzly and Minarets are closed to everyone except residents with a valid I.D.
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