EASTERN MADERA COUNTY – Residents in the mountain area woke to the smell of smoke, and a haze blanketing everything as far away as Coarsegold.
The source of the smoke is the Aspen Fire, burning in the Kaiser Peak area between Mammoth Pool and Huntington Lake, on the east side of the San Joaquin River canyon.
The fire is burning is steep, rough terrain, and has charred over 2,000 acres, with 0% containement as of 9 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24. Heavy smoke and the quickly moving fire has caused the closure of Stump Springs Road, and the evacuation of two campgrounds, Sample Meadow and West Kaiser.
A spokesperson for the US Forest Service says there is no imminent danger to Big Creek or Huntington Lake area. CHP and Sheriff’s deputies are limiting access to the area.
The lightning storm that moved through the area on Monday night also sparked about 15 small fires, all less than 1/4 acre, on the west side of the San Joaquin River in the Mammoth Pool area. Those fires have all been extinguished, and crews are focusing their attention on the huge burn on the east side of the canyon.
Check back for updates as more information becomes available.