MADERA COUNTY – Sept. 20, 2020 – 250 Marines and Sailors with the 7th Engineer Support Battalion from Camp Pendleton, California are beginning a 2-day field training today to reinforce the recent classroom orientation for new firefighters. The trainers are experienced wildland firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service.
278,368 acres have burned with 25% containment and more than 2,900 personnel consisting of 326 engines, 83 water tenders, 16 helicopters, 30 hand crews, 88 dozers and an additional 765 support members.
The 7th Engineer Support Battalion is here to support containment efforts on the Creek Fire and they are eager to assist where needed and are looking forward to providing support.
Firefighters on the west side of the fire are beginning back-burning operations to enforce the containment lines that are completed.
Heavy vehicle traffic is expected from North Fork through Central Camp as well as on the Beasore Road. Please drive cautiously! Beware of standing dead trees and other hazards.
The fire is slowly progressing to the northeast toward rock bluffs and other natural fire barriers. Strategies are in place for the northern flank and the community of Mammoth Lake; the fire edge is still about 10-12 miles from Mammoth Mountain. Additional information is available via the Sierra National Forest Facebook page, or by clicking on the following link: Creek Fire Mammoth Lakes
Heavy smoke is forecast to return to portions of the Creek Fire today. Air operations will be scheduled as conditions permit. Please respect the Temporary Flight Restriction; keep drones away from the fire and firefighting operations. If you fly, we can’t! Don’t be the reason a firefighting air mission has to divert!
FRESNO COUNTY – Fire activity was moderate in the South Zone of the Creek fire last night aided by the improving overnight humidity. Though the fire continued to back and smolder in the heavier fuels, more active fire behavior was observed in the light fuels and more wind prone areas.
A new surface fuel is being established as the overstory in the lightly burned areas are beginning to drop leaves and needles. This will be monitored as it creates the potential for a ground fire to return to areas previously burned.
Clear skies and light winds allowed smoke to settle back into the lower drainages and canyons, which will create a heavier smoke inversion layer. Today, sunny skies will prevail with a gradual warming and drying trend that should allow smoke to lift through the day, but will not completely dissipate.
The fire intensity may increase as the weather continues to dry through the day. Heavier fuels retaining heat for long periods of time may spread to lighter fuels in the afternoon.
Spotting can become an issue today if the smoke inversion layer allows sunshine to preheat fuels. However, limited progression beyond the existing fire perimeter is not expected. If the fire does progress, it is expected to do so to the east of Huntington Lake around China Peak and to the northeast, potentially connecting with the portion of fire moving south around Mount Tom. Growth will slow as fuels become scarcer in higher elevations.
Operational priorities remain focused on full containment of the fire in all zones with heavy
equipment (bulldozers) and manual (handcrew) line construction. Fire suppression units (e.g. fire engines) will focus on tactical
patrol and direct mopup in and near the fire perimeter.