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Monday, August 4, 2008

CA-INF- Sherwin IC - Mammoth lakes - 270 acres, 5% contained.

Update: 8-05-1200hrs - Sherwin Fire (CA-INF-656) 2 miles south of Mammoth Lakes now 270 acres, 5% contained. Joseph's Type II IMT assigned.

Dawn on the Sherwin Fire
Credit: Sherwin Fire picture -jcookfisher -
Flickr photo page Uploaded on August 4, 2008

Update: - 3:00 update from the USFS:

NEWS Forest Service

United States
Department of

National Forest 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200
Bishop, CA 93514
Media Contact: Nancy Upham

Date: August 4, 2008

Sherwin Fire Update

Yesterday, Sunday August 3, at approximately 11:45 a.m., crews began to respond to the Sherwin Fire burning two miles south of the Town of Mammoth Lakes. The Sherwin Creek Road was closed and Sherwin Creek Campground, Laurel lakes camp, and the YMCA camp were all evacuated. Airtankers and helicopters were used on the fire during the afternoon, as well as handcrews and engines. By nightfall the fire had grown to about 50 acres. Handcrews and other resources remained on the fire until about 10:30 pm, when the winds began to move the fire in different and unpredictable directions and the Incident Commander made the decision to move all personnel to safety zones. Due to the proximity of the Town of Mammoth Lakes a Type II Incident Management Team was ordered to bring in new resources and expertise for suppressing the fire.

This morning five airtankers and four helicopters assisted the crews on the ground. The fire was mapped from the air resulting in a fire size of 223 acres. An incident command post was set up at Mammoth High School. By this afternoon three more airtankers had been recruited to join the suppression effort and handcrews and engines that had been released from other fires began to arrive on the scene. By 2:30 this afternoon the number of individuals assigned to the Sherwin Fire had risen to 152.

Winds were predicted to increase in strength this afternoon; however reports from the fireline were optimistic. The fire is not currently burning in the direction of the town. Although still officially zero percent contained, fire managers felt they were making headway on multiple flanks of the fire.

As of this afternoon Sherwin Creek Road remains closed, as do the three camps that were evacuated yesterday. The Sherwin Lakes, Valentine Lake, and Laurel Pass trailheads are all currently closed and no wilderness permits are being issued for these trailheads or the Convict Lake trailhead.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The Forest Service would like to remind all residents and visitors that Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect on all Inyo National Forest and Bishop Field Office BLM lands under 9,000 feet in elevation. Under these fire restrictions no campfires or briquette barbecues are allowed outside of designated developed recreation sites.

The Town of Mammoth Lakes has set up a Public Information Line at (760) 934-8054 for updates on the fire

CA-INF- Sherwin IC - Mammoth - 250+ acres Update on the fire:
Update: 1200hres - 1/4 mile from the YMCA camp... Just got back from near the line and major fire drops are in process trying to save the YMCA Camp. Fire Chief said to expect winds to 30 mph later today. He said that could shut down 395 and hwy 203.
The fire made a run downhill toward the Mammoth Motocross track located just a little over a mile from the town last night or early this morning.
The first wave of some monsoonal moisture is predicted to arrive today and give us some scattered thunderhead buildup with possible dry lightning.

Morning update: 10:00 a.m. update from the Town of Mammoth Lakes Assistant Town Manager:

USFS is the lead agency for now. The main focus for the town EOC (Emergency Operations Center) is public information. The public information phone number is 934-8054.

USFS, Cal Fire, MLFPD and Long Valley are all working the fire. They have called in a Type II team and the Incident Command Post (ICP) will arrive at around 1800. In the mean time there should be 4 tankers, 2 helicopters and several engines/trucks and hand crews on the fire. The ICP will be at the high school with the option to potentially move or expand to the college parking lot.

The fire started in the Sherwin Lakes area and is working down the ridge to the east but has not reached the Sherwin Creek road yet. Sherwin Creek and YMCA campgrounds have been evacuated and all roads and trails in the area are closed. The fire is currently moving east, northeast. Then winds are expected to pick up later this afternoon. The Town is NOT threatened at this time. The current potential is for the fire to move into the Mammoth Creek Drainage affecting the YMCA camp and further eastward to highway 203 and 395.

There will be another briefing at 4 p.m.

Info from Stuart Brown, Community Relations Manager:

The Town has posted a Sherwin Fire Public Service Announcement on Sherwin Fire direct link and will post them throughout the day as more information becomes available. The Town would like to advise residents and visitors to call the Public Information Line at (760) 934-8054 for updated information regarding the Sherwin Fire.

Stuart Brown
Community Relations Manager
Mammoth Lakes Tourism and Recreation Department
P.O. Box 48 / 2520 Main Street
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Phone: (760) 934-2712 x1210 | Fax: (760) 934-7066

Evacuations: Several campgrounds have been evacuated.
The YMCA camp, Voorhis-Viking Campground owned by the Boys and Girls Club, Sherwin Creek campground, were ordered to evacuate on Sunday 5:30pm.
Evacuation center at the High School in Mammoth
Road closures: Sherwin Creek road, Laurel Lake road.
A new start on the Inyo National Forest, Mammoth Ranger District,
Location: Two miles southeast of the Town of Mammoth Lakes, The point of origin is near the west shore of the series of lakes called Sherwin Lakes. Southeast of the Town of Mammoth Lakes, West of 395, Sherwin Lakes area
37 36 49N x 118 56 48W
Cause: Human caused and is under investigation.
Weather Forecast: Crews can expect trouble from dry lightning and erratic winds, and possible assistance if rains come. Air support might be grounded.
IA: 8-3 1530hrs - 20-25 acres, with spotting, structures threatened. Very large visible header, Size as of 1900 Sunday was about 50-60 acres. ud: 40 acres with potential for 100 plus. 0% containment.
IC: SoCal Team 1 - Joseph ordered
Fuels: The fire is burning in heavy fuels of manzanita, jeffrey pine, lodgepole pine, white fir, and western Juniper on a bench overlooking the town. The north facing slope below the bench has significant tree mortality, much of it in the white fir type.
Fire behavior: A strong southwest breeze pushing the fire to the northeast yesterday afternoon. The fire was spotting prolifically even after sunset. If the wind shifts to a southeast or east direction this fire would threaten the town, fire moving to the north, with preplaning for the fire to jump the N Fork of the Feather River and head towards Berry Creek.
Significant threats: Homes, Cabins, outbuildings,YMCA camp, Sherwin Creek campground, Mammoth Motocross track

Ground Resources: Heavy resource orders in place, Five CDF engines, Three CDF hand crews, one water tender (Mammoth Lakes FD WT-3381 filling helo buckets), 3 Forest Service engines, and 1 BLM engine. For the engine crews this is a walk in show, so portable pumps have been set up to pump water out of the lakes and onto the fire. A staging area for ground resources was set up at the Mammoth Motocross area. update:
Resource update: PNF WildCAD - Engine #'s 15, 20, 31, 33, & 34, Dozer 3
Resource update: HUU ECC (Fortuna) - Large resource oder has been requested for this incident. HUU Type 3 ST-9120C (E1284, E1277, E1283, E1285, E1279) is enroute immediate need to the Valley. Three engine via Hwy 36 and two engine via Hwy 299.
Air Resources: 4 helicopters - the two Type II's that worked the fire yesterday plus two Type I's.
Two helicopters (Bridgeport Ranger District ship and the call-when-needed helo brought in due to the use of Helicopter 525 on an off Forest assignment), about 7 air tankers, a SEAT (single engine air tanker), air attack (Air Attack 15 from the Sierra National Forest), lead plane (Lead Bravo 5 a BLM ship stationed at Fox Field),
Comm Frequencies:
Command - 168.125 Tone 3 - Glass Mountain
Tactical - 168.200 NIFC Tac 2
Air-Air Tactics - 166.675 National Air Tactics 1 - pre-assigned to the Inyo
Air to Ground - 170.000 National Air Tactics 4 and Region 5 air to ground
Air to Air AM - 135.975 - being used occasionally for helicopter coordination - pre-assigned to the aircraft dispatched from Bishop
Victor - 128.475
Resource orders: Two helitankers (Type I) have been ordered and will be on the fire at 0800 Today, one from the San Bernardino NF and one from the Los Padres NF. The Bishop air tanker reload base could not be staffed yesterday because of the lack of qualified personnel to run it.
A Type II incident management team
4 helicopters - the two Type II's that worked the fire yesterday plus the two Type I's I mentioned above.
7 engines
5 hand crews
4 heavy air tankers
2 single engine air tankers - 1 based at Bishop

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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