SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST – The French Fire, burning on the Bass Lake Ranger District along Forest Road 81, has now reached 3,637 acres with no containment noted.
Fire crews continued to build new containment lines on Tuesday, and reopen established control lines which were used during the Aspen Fire last year.
The fire is in steep and rugged terrain in the San Joaquin River drainage, which required hand crews hiking in and being supported by helicopters and air tankers.
The French Fire actively burned all day producing large amounts of smoke which impacted local communities. Smoke is typically greater in the morning and evening hours. Plan outdoor activities for times and places with low smoke levels.
Up-slope breezes occur during the day, which will often take smoke into higher elevations. In the evening, these winds change direction and bring smoke down slope to lower elevations. For more information about smoke impacts, please visit the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Districts website at: http://valleyair.org/wildfires.htm
An Incident Command Post has been established at the Old Mill Site in North Fork, with helicopters staged at the north end of the property. The North Fork School is being used as sleeping quarters for many of the firefighters.
The French Fire was reported on the morning of July 28, 2014 by Shuteye Peak Lookout.
Several Forest Service and private campgrounds were evacuated yesterday for public safety concerns. Several summer homes in the Hogue Apple Ranch and Wagner’s Resort areas were also evacuated. The impacted residences were able to make arrangements to stay elsewhere and there was not a need to open any shelters.
-Forest Road 4S81 (Minarets/Mammoth Pool Road) between Redinger Overlook and Arch Rock.
-Forest Road 6S01 (Grizzly Road) between Beasore Road and 4S81 (Minarets/Mammoth Pool Road)
-Forest Campgrounds Closures: Fish Creek, Rock Creek, Soda Springs, Mile High, Lower Chiquito, Windy Point, Sweetwater, China Bar, Mammoth Pool and Placer.
Crews will continue to make structure defense in the Hogue Ranch and Kinsman Flat areas a primary objective.