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Aspen Fire Continues to Grow, Enters Kaiser Wilderness

A lake on the eastern edge of Kaiser Wilderness.

| Photo: Richard Johnstone/Flickr/Creative Commons License

The Aspen Fire has burned into two small western sections of Kaiser Wilderness, a 22,700-acre chunk of the Sierra Nevadas that was given extra special protection by Congress in 1976. Crews are working on an indirect containment line deeper into the wilderness area because the active fire's edge is in steep, rugged, or otherwise inaccessible terrain. If the fire continues into Kaiser, the line should stop it from progressing. Containment currently stands at 45 percent.

The lightning-caused blaze has charred closed to 18,000 acres since Monday, July 22. It has mostly burned non-wilderness areas of Sierra National Forest abut the southwestern edge of Mammoth Pool Reservoir, about seven miles from the community of Big Creek in Fresno County. Over 1,900 people are currently assigned to the firefighting effort, which has cost nearly $13 million to date.

All trails in Kaiser Wilderness remained closed, as do 16 campgrounds and Stump Springs Road. Recreation and businesses remain open in the Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake, Lake Thomas Edison, Florence Lake, and the Mono Hot Springs areas, however, smoke is impacting many communities around the burn area.

Two minor injuries have been reported and three historic buildings that were threatened have been spared.

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