EASTERN MADERA COUNTY – As crews on the west side of the San Joaquin River continue to keep a sharp eye on the Aspen Fire, making sure it doesn’t jump the canyon, the fire has grown to 14,147 acres.
There are now 1,792 personnel assigned to the fire, and road and campground closures remain in effect.
The fire continues to be active throughout the north and east sides, as temperatures increase and humidity decreases.
Crews continue to build and prepare indirect line on the east side of the fire, while helicopters and tankers drop water and retardant.
Most all of the helicopters available for air attack are now staged at the mill site just east of North Fork. There are eight Type 1, three Type 2 and one Type 3 helicopters, along with support, water and fuel trucks on the site. They will be there as long as needed for work on the Aspen Fire.
Staging these ships in North Fork means a large savings in both fuel costs and hours of operation.
“There is a maximum number of hours these pilots can fly,” says Sean Collins, Public Information Officer at the Incident Command Post in Huntington Lake. “There is also a limit to the number of hours the aircraft can operate before they need maintenance. It’s a quicker turnaround time from North Fork.”
So far there have been only two reported injuries, a broken finger and an infected foot.
Containment is now 30% with a date for full containment of Aug. 10.