[Update: Read the latest story on the fire from Tuesday, July 30 here.
Update, 9:52 a.m., Sunday, July 28: The fire has now charred 8,927 acres and costs have ballooned to $4 million. Wind was carrying smoke over to Mammoth Lakes late last week.
I've been through forest fires before. But nothing like what is going on in Mammoth right now. So much smoke that it looks like fog.— Brent Burmeister (@BrentBurmeister) July 27, 2013
"Hopefully the wind doesn't kick up again today and keeps the smoke at a minimum -- that was rough yesterday," posted The Mammoth Times to Facebook.]
Burning deep in the Sierra Nevada Mountains since Monday, the Aspen Fire has grown to 6,700 acres. The team of over 1,000 personnel assigned to the blaze have finally made some headway in containment as of 7:30 this morning: 10 percent.
Campground ClosuresSample Meadow
Jackass Rock Organization
Wagners Mammoth Pool Resor
Crews are using indirect attack -- a tactic of creating control lines away from the active edge of the fire -- because of "extremely steep, rugged and inaccessible terrain," according to this morning's update released by the federal interagency team. Helicopters and air tankers are being used at the fire line to help slow it's movement and cool hot spots.
Closures include 16 campgrounds, all trails in Kaiser Wilderness, and Stump Springs Road. Also closed, save for residents with valid I.D., is Minarets Road between Fish Creek to Jackass Rock Organization Campground and Grizzly at Beasore Road to Minarets Road are closed. There have been no injuries or structures damaged, although three are listed as threatened.
The Aspen Fire, located in Sierra National Forest in Fresno County, was caused by lightning during a storm, which brought hundreds of downstrikes and over a dozen small fires in the region. To date it has cost the government $2.8 million.