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Aspen Fire Grows Beyond 20,000 Acres

The Aspen Fire at night.

| Photo: David L. Husted/Inciweb

[Update, 11:50 a.m., Wednesday, August 7: The fire continues to grow slowly. Two campsites have opened and a decrease in smoke should be noticeable. Read the latest report here.]

[Update, 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, August 6: The fire has grown to 21,381 acres, but containment remains at 75 percent. With much of that work done, personnel continues to decrease: the team stands at 1,673 members.]

Burning for two weeks, the Aspen Fire has so far charred 20,617 acres in Sierra National Forest. However, it may not consume that much more: As of this morning, crews -- currently a force of 1,835 people -- had the blaze 75 percent contained.

The wildfire was caused by lightning on Monday, July 22 approximately seven miles north of Big Creek, a small Fresno County community in the Sierra Nevadas. Currently, the fire's active edge is on the south and east, where it has slightly entered into Kaiser Wilderness.

A community meeting was held Sunday in Big Creek, where the Incident Commander gave an update on the fire, followed by audience questions. According to a public information officer present, questions were about evacuations (beyond the campgrounds vacated two weeks ago, none are planned), where the fire crews are coming from (all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and even Great Britain), and definitions of terms used by officials during this fire (cooling down: the fire is losing heat; firing operation: a prescribed, managed burn).

Closures that went into effect near the beginning of the fire remain. They include all trails within Kaiser Wilderness, 16 area campgrounds, and Stump Springs Road.

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