Walker Fire Update #5 (June Lake)

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Date:     August 16, 2015
Time:    8:00p
Subject: Walker Fire Update

Good evening! Here is the latest official update on the ‪#‎WalkerFire‬ near June Lake/Lee Vining. Please note: SR 120W (Tioga Pass) is under a hard closure, in both directions. There are no more escorts on the pass and no one is permitted on the roadway other than necessary fire personnel and first responders. There are also new evacuations in the Lee Vining Canyon (upper canyon campgrounds). New fire crews and resources arrived today and crews made good progress on fire lines. Full details are below. Thank you! - Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer

Walker Fire Update

The Walker Fire is estimated to be 2,200 acres and is 10% contained. The fire is northeast of Walker Lake and west of Lee Vining Canyon.

Update: Additional fire crews arrived today. Fire crews made good progress on line construction today on the west, south, and eastern flanks, supported by air operations. However, the northern flank showed active fire behavior this afternoon and evening and led to further evacuations in Lee Vining Canyon (upper canyon campgrounds). Crews will continue to strengthen firelines tonight, focusing on the northern flank. Active fire behavior is expected tonight with low night-time relative humidity recovery.

Nate Rasner’s Type 3 Sierra Front team arrived today and was briefed on the Walker Fire. They assume command of the fire tomorrow morning at 6:00 am. The team will have a fire information line, 760-647-6472, to handle public and media inquiries.

Closures and Evacuations: 
• Walker Lake “Fishing Camp” has been evacuated.

• A CodeRed Emergency Alert notice has been issued for Lee Vining and everything north of Double Eagle in June Lake (including Silver Lake and Grant Lake areas) for potential evacuations.

• Highway 120 West (Tioga Pass) is closed between Highway 395 and the Yosemite National Park Entrance.

• Campgrounds in the entire Lee Vining Canyon have been evacuated and are closed, including Lower Lee Vining, Moraine, Boulder, Aspen Grove, Big Bend, Junction, Ellery Lake, Tioga Lake Campground, Sawmill, and Saddlebag Campgrounds.

• The Tioga Pass and Saddlebag Resorts are under an evacuation advisory.

• The Walker Lake Road (1N17), the Parker Lake Rd. (1S25), the Upper Horse Meadows Rd. (1N16), and the Gibbs Road (1N18) are closed for fire operations and public safety. All of these roads are accessed via the northern end of the June Lake Loop. All spur roads off of these roads are also closed. The trail to Mono Pass (trailhead is at Walker Lake) is closed.

• The Lee Vining area is becoming a center of fire operations and it is suggested that visitors should avoid this area.

The fire is burning is mixed conifer, mahogany, and brush. Critical sage grouse habitat is also threatened. Visitors and residents should expect to see smoke from the June Lake and Lee Vining area and along Highway 395.

Approximately 350 firefighters are on scene as well as numerous aircraft, dozers, and engines. Resources from Mono County, local fire departments, Cal Fire, neighboring forests BLM Bishop Field Office, and the Mono County Sheriff’s Office are assigned.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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