UPDATE: June Lake Fire 9/17/2014 (evening update)

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For Immediate Release

September 17, 2014

Media Contact: Deb Schweizer, Inyo National Forest (760) 873-2427, (760) 920-2347 (cell)

                        Jennifer Hansen, Mono County Sheriff (760) 648-3177 (cell)

June Fire Grows to 65 Acres- Crews Make Good Progress

The June Fire is estimated to be 65 acres and 50% contained.

Today, a coordinated effort included strategic retardant and water drops to help “box the fire” and cool hot spots along the edge while multiple crews improved fireline on the southeast flank as well as continuing line construction to the north and western flanks.  Crews used the shaded fuel break to assist in line construction near the community. The fire is burning in an area with multiple dead and downed trees in the mixed conifer forest.

The concern for today was strong, erratic, and gusty winds over the fire area. Firefighters on the ground as well as air attack are being diligent to try to detect possible spots outside the fire perimeter as a result of this wind event.

A Type 2 Incident Management Team has arrived. SoCal Team 3, under Incident Commander Mike Wakoski, received a briefing the local fire staff this evening. The Incident Command Post is being set up in Lee Vining.

Evacuations remain in effect and are mandatory east of June Mountain and south of Hwy 158.  Highway 158 is closed at the south junction with Highway 395 and remains closed north to Rainbow Lane. Closures along the Highway 158 corridor were better defined today and will be strictly enforced. Do not enter closure areas—numerous firefighters and equipment are in these areas. The closures are for your safety and firefighter safety.

There are no reports of damage to property at this time and structure protection is in place.  Mono County Sheriff began escorts for evacuated residents today. These brief escorts allow residents to gather essential needs from their home. Mono County Social Services has opened the June Lake Community Center  as an emergency shelter.

June Lake and Gull Lake remain closed for boats and flotation devices as these lakes will be used as dipping sites for aerial operations. The Reversed Creek Campground, the June Lake Campground, and the Gull Lake Campground are closed.

Southern California Edison has powered down power lines at the request of firefighters for firefighter safety. Additionally a section of fiber optic cable was burned in fire—affecting cell coverage in June Lake. Verizon is ready to replace the cable as soon as it is safe to do so.

Numerous resources from California Office of Emergency Services, CHP, Cal Trans, Cal Fire, Mono County, Inyo County, local fire departments, US Forest Service, and BLM are assisting.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Please look for updates on the forest’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/inyonf) and Mono County Sheriff’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/Mono-County-Sheriffs-Department).

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