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Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name:
  • State:
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  • Size (acres):
  • Percent Contained:
  • Estimate of Containment:
  • Personnel:
  • Structures Destroyed:

Georges, Inyo NF. Nine miles northwest of Lone Pine, CA. Timber and brush. Minimal fire behavior.

July 15, 2018 at 9:54 AM

Mop-up and suppression repair continue

July 14, 2018 at 9:40 PM

Evacuations lifted for the Whitney Portal area, including campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store. The Whitney Portal Road was opened under the authority of the Inyo County Sheriff. The area was closed for the public’s safety due to the fire. The Eastern Sierra Visitor Center and the Wilderness Permit Office have returned to normal business hours.

July 14, 2018 at 8:31 AM

Management of the fire has transitioned to a local Type 4 team, comprised of your local firefighters from the Inyo National Forest.

The Georges Fire started on July 8th in an area north of Lone Pine, west of Manzanar National Historic Site, and south of Bairs Creek. Due to fire activity, the Whitney Portal area was evacuated and closed for two days. No structures have been destroyed.

SoCal Incident Management Team 3 and its Commander, Mike Wakoski, would like to take the opportunity to thank the local communities, visitors, and backcountry users for their support and patience during the fire.

July 13, 2018 at 9:12 AM

The incident transitioned out of Unified Command. The fire is being managed by SoCal Team 3, a Type 2 incident management team (assigned to the Inyo National Forest). The complexity of the fire has diminished due to increased containment, favorable weather, and precipitation over the fire. Tomorrow, management of the fire will transition to a local Type 4 team, comprised of your local firefighters from the Inyo National Forest.

Much of the fireline of the Georges Fire is in steep, inaccessible terrain. Firefighters cannot safely gauge if these areas are contained or if pockets of heat still remain. However, the monsoonal moisture has substantially diminished the fire activity.

Crews will continue suppression repair, mop up, and collecting remaining backhaul. Firefighters will continue to patrol in the fire area. No structures have been destroyed, and no reportable injuries occurred.

Precipitation is likely today with some potential for erratic downdraft winds likely. Thunderstorms remain in the forecast and will decrease over the weekend.

The area burned is 82% U. S. Forest Service (2,364 acres), 12% Bureau of Land Management (345 acres), and 5% Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (154 acres).

At this time, 564 personnel remain assigned to the incident, including 20 crews, 22 engines, 3 dozers, 7 helicopters, and 4 water tenders. Fixed wing aircraft is available upon request.

While firefighters make the final push towards containment of the fire, they must fulfill another extremely important task called backhaul. Firefighters must recover equipment in the field that is no longer needed by the crews. The Georges Fire is no exception. These items include hose, chainsaw kits, generators, and smaller items like nozzles. Equipment must then cleaned, repaired, and organized to be ready for the next incident.

July 12, 2018 at 9:43 AM

With a moderation in fire behavior, the evacuation has been lifted for the Whitney Portal area, including campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store. The Whitney Portal Road was opened under the authority of the Inyo County Sheriff. The area was closed for the public’s safety due to the fire. The Eastern Sierra Visitor Center and the Wilderness Permit Office will return to normal business hours today.

Yesterday, fire crews worked on strengthening containment lines. Helicopters continued to support fire suppression efforts with water drops as needed.

There was no precipitation over the fire overnight. Firefighters will continue to mop up and patrol in the fire area. A general light southeast flow aloft will keep transporting moist and unstable air over the eastern Sierra leading to increased chances for showers and thunderstorms Thursday and Friday. Today will be mostly sunny becoming partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms in the morning, scattered showers through the day, and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Tonight, scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected with showers and thunderstorms after midnight.

There are 627 personnel currently assigned to the incident, including 19 crews, 31 engines, 4 dozers, 8 helicopters, and 8 water tenders. Fixed wing aircraft is available upon request.

Due to declining fire activity, there will only be a morning update.

The Georges Fire is burning in an area designated as critical habitat for the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep, a federally-listed endangered species. The Georges Fire is improving wintering habitat for the bighorn sheep. It creates patches where pinyon/ juniper canopy cover is reduced. This is beneficial for the bighorn sheep because the woodlands are habitat for predators, such as mountain lions.

July 11, 2018 at 12:02 PM

The Inyo National Forest is planning to re-open the Whitney Portal Road and access to the Mt. Whitney Trailhead at 6:00 pm today. The Shepherd Pass Trail is also re-opening.

The evacuation is also being lifted for the Whitney Portal area, including campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store.

The opening is tentative and could change if unexpected fire behavior were to occur forcing the area to remain closed for public safety.

The Eastern Sierra Visitor Center in Lone Pine will begin issuing permits for both day and overnight hikers who have reservations for the Mt. Whitney Trailhead. They will also be reissuing permits for hikers who were unable to complete their hike in the past few days due to the fire. They plan to remain open until 8:00 pm to assist hikers. The visitor center will be fully staffed and fire information officer will be available to update hikers on the Georges Fire.

In addition, hikers can request night box service by calling the Wilderness Permit Office at 760873-2483 or 760-873-2573.The Wilderness Permit Office will be open until 7:30 pm to accommodate these requests.

We appreciate your continued patience as we work to re-open and re-issue these permits. In addition, parking at Whitney Portal will be extremely limited. Hikers are highly encouraged to use shuttles and carpools to help alleviate parking congestion.

The Eastern Sierra is a fire-adapted and fire-prone environment and wildfire is a reality here. The Inyo National Forest appreciates the efforts of SoCal Team 3, Cal Fire, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Bishop BLM Field Office, local fire departments, and all other partners who have made significant efforts to help get this area re-opened and their work to safely contain this fire.

July 11, 2018 at 8:52 AM

Last night’s thunderstorms brought measurable precipitation to the fire. Although there was measurable precipitation, increasing temperatures and winds are expected to quickly dry out last night’s rain. Today’s weather is expected to be much like yesterday with a possibility of afternoon thunderstorms, chance for precipitation, and unstable winds.

Today, fire crews continue their suppression efforts constructing and improving the existing containment line on the southern flank of the fire, including the Whitney Portal area. Smoke columns may again be visible in the northwest area of the fire due to fire burning interior pockets of timber surrounded by rock. Firefighters continue to make good progress along the southern and northern flanks as the fire continues to hold within existing containment lines. Thick brush in steep terrain along the western flank remains a challenge for crews.

Hikers with permits for the Mt. Whitney Trailhead and the Shepherd Pass Trailhead cannot begin their hikes from these trailheads until further notice. Hikers who picked up their permit to hike Mt. Whitney in advance may not hike the trail. The National Recreation Trail (from Lone Pine Campground) is also closed and may not be used as an alternative to get to Whitney Portal. The Inyo National Forest is working with campers who hold reservations at Whitney Portal. The forest will re-evaluate access to these areas on daily basis based upon fire behavior and fire containment. The primary concerns are for the safety along the road and at Whitney Portal, not to the trail networks themselves.

Hikers who exit at Whitney Portal that do not have a vehicle may call a shuttle service (see attached) to arrange to be picked up. Shuttle services will only be assisting exiting hikers at this time as conditions permit. Hikers exiting at Whitney Portal who have a vehicle parked at the trailhead may drive out from Whitney Portal as long as they check in at the closure to ensure it is safe.

July 10, 2018 at 8:04 PM

The Georges Fire (lightning-caused) has grown to an estimated 2,883 acres and is 30% contained. The fire is in Unified Command with SoCal Team 3, a Type 2 incident management team (assigned to the Inyo National Forest), CAL FIRE and the Inyo Sheriff’s Department. The fire started the afternoon of July 8, 2018.

Today, fire crews continued their suppression efforts on the southern flank of the fire, due to concern for the Whitney Portal area. Smoke columns in the northwest area of the fire were visible today primarily due to fire burning interior pockets of timber surrounded by rock. Good progress was made along the southern and northern flanks as the fire was held within containment lines. Thick brush in steep terrain along the western flank is a challenge for crews. Crews were made aware of the potential for thunderstorms in the area.

There are 640 personnel currently assigned to the incident, including 19 crews, 31 engines, 4 dozers, 8 helicopters, 2 air tankers, and 8 water tenders.

There is a slight chance for a shower or thunderstorm over the fire area this evening. Otherwise skies will be partly cloudy overnight. An upper level disturbance moving across Southern California Tuesday and Wednesday may bring additional thunderstorms with a chance of rain across the Eastern Sierra slopes.

Evacuations are still in place in the Whitney Portal area. This includes campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store. The Hogback and Whitney Portal Roads are closed. Additional road closures include the Foothill Road and Moffat Ranch Road as well as any other roads that enter the fire area. Please avoid the fire area for your safety and for our firefighters’ safety.

July 10, 2018 at 9:51 AM

The Georges Fire (lightning-caused) has grown to an estimated 2,500 acres and is 10% contained. Command of the fire has transitioned to SoCal Team 3, a Type 2 incident management team.

Last night, fire behavior decreased when the winds died down. Crews used this opportunity to strengthen initial firelines to improve containment.

Today, fire crews continue to focus their suppression efforts on the southern flank of the fire because of concerns for the Whitney Portal area. Steep terrain and thick fuels are a challenge for crews in this area. Crews will continue to improve fireline along the east and north flanks. The west flank is burning into steep, inaccessible terrain. In this area, the fire will eventually “rock out” as the fire reaches the granite cliffs and the absence of fuel. The fire is burning in sage brush and transitioning to a pinyon-juniper forest at higher elevation. The monsoonal weather pattern will continue to bring lightning storms and gusty winds to the fire area.

The Whitney Portal area has been evacuated. This includes campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store. The Hogback and Whitney Portal Roads are closed. Additional road closures include the Foothill Road and Moffat Ranch Road as well as any other roads that enter the fire area. Please avoid the fire area for your safety and for our firefighters’ safety.

Hikers with permits for the Mt. Whitney Trailhead and the Shepherd Pass Trailhead cannot begin their hikes today from these trailheads. Hikers who picked up their permit to hike Mt. Whitney in advance may not hike the trail. The National Recreation Trail (from Lone Pine Campground) is also closed and may not be used as an alternative to get to Whitney Portal. The Inyo National Forest is also working with campers who hold reservations at Whitney Portal. The forest will re-evaluate access to these areas on daily basis based upon fire behavior and fire containment. The primary concerns are for the safety along the road and at Whitney Portal, not to the trail networks themselves.

Hikers who exit at Whitney Portal that do not have a vehicle may call a shuttle service (see below) to arrange to be picked up. Shuttle services will only be assisting exiting hikers at this time as conditions permit.

There are 611 personnel assigned to the incident, including 20 crews, 27 engines, four dozers, five helicopters, three air tankers, and three water tenders assigned to the incident.

July 9, 2018 at 7:48 PM

Today, erratic winds challenged the initial fireline fire crews had put in yesterday night. The fire showed growth on the south and west. Fire crews focused their suppression efforts on the southern flank of the fire because of concerns for the Whitney Portal area. They are also working to contain the eastern flank and work north towards the head of the fire. The western flank is burning into steep, inaccessible terrain. In this area, the fire will eventually “rock out” as the fire reaches the granite cliffs and the absence of fuel. The fire is burning in sage brush and transitioning to a pinyon-juniper forest at higher elevation.

SoCal Team 3 was briefed this evening and assumes command of the fire tomorrow at 6:00 am.

The Whitney Portal area has been evacuated. This includes campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store. The Hogback and Whitney Portal Roads are closed. Hikers who exit at Whitney Portal that do not have a vehicle may call a shuttle service (see attached) or arrange to be picked up. Shuttle services will only be assisting exiting hikers at this time as conditions permit. Additional road closures include the Foothill Road and Moffat Ranch Road as well as any other roads that enter the fire area. Please avoid the fire area for your safety and for our firefighters’ safety.

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The Inyo National Forest is contacting permit holders for the Whitney Portal Trailhead and the Shepherd Pass Trailhead to notify them that they cannot begin their hikes tomorrow from these trailheads. Hikers who picked up their permit to hike Mt. Whitney in advance may not hike the trail. The National Recreation Trail (from Lone Pine Campground) is also closed and may not be used as an alternative to get to Whitney Portal. The Inyo National Forest is also working with campers who hold reservations at Whitney Portal. The forest will re-evaluate access to these areas on daily basis upon fire behavior and fire containment.

There are nine crews, 20 engines, three dozers, six helicopters, three air tankers and a very large air tanker (VLAT) assigned to the incident and additional resources are ordered.

This is a lightning-caused fire.

July 9, 2018 at 3:08 PM

Due to increased activity on the southern flank of the fire, the Whitney Portal area has been evacuated. This evacuation was done in coordination with the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office. This includes campgrounds, residents, and the Whitney Portal Store. The Hogback and Whitney Portal Roads are closed.

Hikers who exit at Whitney Portal that do not have a vehicle may call a shuttle service (see below) to arrange to be picked up. Shuttle services will only be assisting exiting hikers as conditions permit. Additional road closures include the Foothill Road and Moffat Ranch Road as well as any other roads that enter the fire area. Please avoid the fire area for your safety and for our firefighters’ safety.

The following businesses are permitted to shuttle hikers to and from trailheads.

Eastern Sierra Shuttle Service, LLC
Lone Pine, CA
760-876-1915
rwennis@outlook.com

Eastern Sierra Transit
Bishop Creek Shuttle
Bishop, CA
760-872-1901
www.estransit.com

East Side Shuttle Service
Independence, CA
760-878-8047
paul@inyopro.com www.eastsidesierrashuttle.com

MAWS Transportation
Mammoth Lakes, CA
760-709-2927
lucasropke@mawshuttle.com
www.mawshuttle.com

Mammoth Cabs
Mammoth Lakes, CA
760-924-2227 / 760-934-2227
mammothlakescabs@yahoo.com
www.mammothlakescabs.com

Mammoth Taxi
Mammoth Lakes, CA
760-937-8294
scottie@mammoth-taxi.com
www.mammoth-taxi.com

SherpaMax
Independence, CA
805-341-6360
sherpamax@aol.com

Sierra Shuttle Service, LLC
Mammoth Lakes, CA
760-914-2746
sierrashuttleservices@outlook.com
www.sierrashuttleservice.com

July 9, 2018 at 2:30 PM

Due to the #GeorgesFire the Sheriff’s Office is in the process of evacuating Whitney Portal campgrounds, and closing Whitney Portal Road.

July 9, 2018 at 8:20 AM

The Georges Fire has grown to 2,000 acres and is 0% contained. The Inyo National Forest, CALFIRE, and Inyo County Sheriff are in Unified Command for this fire.

Fire growth yesterday was to the north and west, driven by winds. The fire is north of Lone Pine, west of Manzanar National Historic Site, and south of Bairs Creek. Last night, the winds died down, and crews were able to begin initial line construction for the fire.

The forecast today calls for additional lightning activity as well as continued erratic winds and dry conditions. A Type II Team has been ordered and arrives this evening for a briefing.

Numerous crews from the Inyo National Forest, BLM, CALFIRE, and local fire departments are responding. There are nine crews, 20 engines, three dozers, six helicopters, three air tankers and a very large air tanker (VLAT) assigned to the incident and additional resources are ordered and en route.

The Hogback and Whitney Portal Roads are closed to uphill traffic at this time. Additional road closures include the Foothill Road and Moffat Ranch Road as well as any other roads that enter the fire area. There are no evacuations in place at this time. However, campers and residents in the Whitney Portal area have been advised to be prepared for an evacuation. Please avoid the fire area for your safety and for our firefighters’ safety.

Today, the Inyo National Forest is contacting permit holders for the Whitney Portal Trailhead and the Shepherd Pass Trailhead to notify them that they cannot begin their hikes today from these trailheads. The Inyo National Forest is also working with campers who hold reservations at Whitney Portal. The forest will re-evaluate access to these areas on daily basis upon fire behavior.

It has been determined that this is a lightning-caused fire.

July 8, 2018 at 8:26 PM

Photo Angel Avila

The Georges Fire has grown to 750 acres and is 0% contained. The Inyo National Forest, CALFIRE, and Inyo County Sherriff are in Unified Command for this fire.

Fire growth is to the north and west, driven by winds. The fire is north of Lone Pine, west of Manzanar National Historic Site, and south of Bairs Creek. Erratic and gusty winds continue to hamper fire suppression efforts.

Numerous crews from the Inyo National Forest, BLM, CALFIRE, and local fire departments are responding. Aircraft is assisting as conditions allow. There are nine crews, 14 engines, two dozers, four air tankers and a very large air tanker (VLAT) assigned to the incident and additional resources are ordered and en route.

July 8, 2018 at 8:11 PM

Community of Whitney Portal threatened
Evacuations in progress for Whitney Portal Area
USFS / CALFIRE in Unified Command

July 8, 2018 at 5:06 PM

Fire crews are responding to the Georges Fire, located west of Highway 395 between Georges and Hogback Creeks northwest of Lone Pine. The fire is estimated to be 150 acres and is burning in sage brush.

Numerous crews from the forest, BLM, CALFIRE, and local fire departments are responding. Gusty winds and inaccessible terrain are concerns for response.

The Hogback and Whitney Portal Roads are closed to uphill traffic at this time. Please avoid the fire response area.

The cause of the fire is under investigation; although substantial lightning activity has been observed in the area.