SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – A fire near Rock Creek on the Sierra National Forest is now over 1,000 acres and is quickly burning through the steep and rough terrain on the west side of the San Joaquin River Canyon.
The “French Fire” is on the Bass Lake Ranger District on the east side of Forest Service Road 81 between Rock Creek and Fish Creek campgrounds, and is reportedly headed toward Mile High Vista above Mammoth Pool.
Radio traffic at 3:45 p.m. this afternoon, indicated that the fire had jumped FS Road 81 and is now burning several hundred acres on the west side of the road near Slide Creek.
Both Rock Creek and Fish Creek campgrounds been evacuated, along with Soda Springs, and there is now a hard closure in place on FS Road 81 (Mammoth Pool/Minarets Road) at the Ross Cabin, and also at the Grizzly cutoff (FS Road 6S01) intersection. No one will be allowed through except emergency personnel. Motorists are urged to avoid this area.
Mark Smith, Assistant District Fire Management Officer is currently the Incident Commander. A Type II team (David Cooper) has been ordered as well as aircraft, crews and equipment.
The fire was reported just before 6 a.m. this morning by the lookout at Shuteye Peak. The cause is unknown.
Strong winds in the area are of concern to fire officials.
The US Forest Service and Cal Fire both have resources assigned to the incident.
4 Air Tankers
2 Type 1 helitankers
2 Type 2 helicopters
2 Air Attack
1 Lead plane
1 Strike Team Crew from Cal Fire
2 Type 2 Forest Service Crews
Resources on order as of 1:30 p.m. Monday:
1 Strike Team
3 Type 1 Hand crews
1 Water Tender
Resources currently enroute:
2 Type 3 Strike Team Engines
Rock Creek is located about 25 miles up the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway (FS81) from North Fork.