advertisement

Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name: Inyo Creek
  • State: CA
  • Lead Agency: INF
  • Size (acres): 592
  • Percent Contained: 96%
  • Estimate of Containment: July 6, 2021
  • Personnel: 100
  • Structures Destroyed: 0

Inyo Creek, Inyo NF, USFS. IMT 2 (CA Team 13). Eight miles west of Lone Pine, CA. Brush, timber and hardwood slash. Minimal fire behavior with creeping. Structures threatened. Evacuations, area, road and trail closures in effect.

July 2, 2021 at 12:01 PM

This will be the final update for the Inyo Creek Fire. Containment is currently at 96%. Evacuation orders and closure of the Whitney Portal Road were lifted Wednesday evening as both the fire situation and the forecast weather held and allowed for safe access.

“I am feeling very comfortable with the conditions of the fire” said Incident Commander Tomas Gonzalez of the Inyo National Forest.
The fire area received light rain mid-day Wednesday but during warmer, drier conditions smoldering fuels such as stump holes will continue to burn and may be visible from the Whitney Portal Road.”

Closure Updates:

The National Recreation Trail (NRT) which begins at Lone Pine Campground and ends at Whitney Portal is closed under Forest Order 05-04-54-21-17 through November 30, 2021.

The Meysan Lake Trail and Whitney Portal have both been reopened. The Lone Pine Campground is expected to reopen after 8 a.m. on July 3.

Fire Restrictions remain in effect for the Inyo National Forest and Bishop Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Campfires are allowed only in developed campgrounds and recreation sites. A portable stove or lantern using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel may be used with a valid wilderness or California Campfire Permit in dispersed areas. Smoking is allowed within an enclosed vehicle, building, a developed recreation site, or in an area at least three feet in diameter cleared of flammable material.

Fireworks are never permitted to be ignited on Forest Service, BLM and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) land. Due to hot and dry conditions, the danger for wildfire is extreme. Campfires are not allowed outside developed Inyo County campgrounds; always ensure your fire is fully extinguished after use.

June 30, 2021 at 2:18 PM

In consultation with the National Weather Service and Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, evacuation orders and road closures that were in place due to the Inyo Creek Fire will be lifted today June 30 at 6 pm.

Lone Pine Campground will remain closed through Saturday July 3 due to forecast storms in the area and the potential for flash flood.

Lifting of closures and evacuations are subject to cancelation should weather change.

June 30, 2021 at 7:51 AM

Firefighters continue to work to gain containment in elevations ranging from 3,500 to 9,500 feet.  Firefighter assigned to the Inyo Creek Fire assisted the Inyo National Forest with other initial attack fires yesterday.    Showers  and thunderstorms will continue today, but will diminish thursday into the weekend.  Detailed Weather Report  

The fire suppression repair plan for areas affected by the fire includes recontouring impacts from both hand and dozer lines that have contained the fire from spreading into campgrounds, the historic cabin tract, and Whitney Portal proper. Public and fire personnel safety remain a top priority while suppression and repair efforts continue in these closed areas.  
 
With the fire now at 90% containment, and no growth expected on the fire, the complexity of this incident has dropped, and a Type 2 incident management team is no longer needed.  Management of the fire will transition back to a local type 3 organization today.  On behalf of California Interagency Incident Management Team 13, Incident Commander Wakoski would like to thank the Lone Pine community for their support, assistance and cooperation over the last 10 days.

Evacuations for all residents of Whitney Portal Road North of Horseshoe Meadow Road, all the Whitney Portal and Lone Pine Campground are still in effect. Firefighters are continuing to work hard to get the status of the fire to a state where many of the closures can be re-opened to the public.   

Due to the threat of thunderstorms over the next few days, the Inyo National Forest, in consultation with the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, will keep the Lone Pine Campground and Whitney Portal Road closed.

June 29, 2021 at 7:48 AM

The Inyo Creek Fire has burned 592 acres and is 80 % contained. Firefighters continue to work to gain containment in elevations ranging from 3,500 to 9,500 feet. Weather today will help firefighters, with shows and thunderstorms throughout the day.  it will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 84. Northwest wind 6 to 14 mph becoming east southeast in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50% Detailed Weather Report

The fire suppression repair plan for areas affected by the fire includes recontouring impacts from both hand and dozer lines that have contained the fire from spreading into campgrounds, the historic cabin tract, and Whitney Portal proper. Public and fire personnel safety remain a top priority while suppression and repair efforts continue in these closed areas.  

Evacuations for all residents of Whitney Portal Road North of Horseshoe Meadow Road, all the Whitney Portal and Lone Pine Campground are still in effect. Firefighters are continuing to work hard to get the status of the fire to a state where many of the closures can be re-opened to the public.   

Due to the threat of thunderstorms over the next few days, the Inyo National Forest, in consultation with the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, will keep the Lone Pine Campground and Whitney Portal Road closed. 

June 27, 2021 at 10:42 AM

Containment on the Inyo Creek Fire has increased to 50%. Firefighters continue to suppress the fire and heat between elevations ranging from 3,500 to 9,500 feet. A patch of moisture moved in overnight from the east bringing in some cloud cover that will dissipate by mid-morning and be followed by another day of sun and high temperatures, with low relative humidity.

The fire suppression repair plan for areas affected by the fire includes recontouring impacts from both hand and dozer lines that have contained the fire from spreading into campgrounds, the historic cabin tract, and Whitney Portal proper. Public and fire personnel safety remain a top priority while suppression and repair efforts continue in these closed areas.

Evacuations for all residents of Whitney Portal Road North of Horseshoe Meadow Road, all the Whitney Portal and Lone Pine Campground are still in effect. Firefighters are continuing to work hard to get the status of the fire to a state where many of the closures can be re-opened to the public.

Closures: The Whitney Portal Road is closed at Horseshoe Meadow Road. The forest continues to coordinate with the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at the closure. At this time all hikers that have planned to exit the Mt. Whitney Trailhead should use a different exit point such as, the Cottonwood Pass Trailhead or Onion Valley. Forest Order No. 05-54-54-21-16 closing the Meysan Lake Trail and National Recreation Trail (NRT) from their respective trailheads to terminus points is now in effect.

Fire Restrictions remain in effect for the Inyo National Forest and Bishop Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Campfires are allowed only in developed campgrounds and recreation sites. A portable stove or lantern using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel may be used with a valid wilderness or California Campfire Permit in dispersed areas. No fireworks are ever allowed on the forest. Smoking is allowed within an enclosed vehicle, building, a developed recreation site, or in an area at least three feet in diameter cleared of flammable material.

June 26, 2021 at 12:56 PM

The Inyo Creek Fire is now 35% contained and the fire will continue to burn in Lone Pine Creek and adjacent ridgelines today. Mostly sunny skies, breezy, easterly up-canyon winds accompany the extremely low fuel moisture and persistent dry conditions. Structure defense in the Whitney Portal remains a priority especially with the forecasted dry air mass moving into the area.

Last night’s fire behavior included a moderate rate of spread, and this weekend’s increasing temperatures will contribute to challenges for the crews. Firefighters continue to build and maintain fire line, extinguish hot spots and mop up where appropriate.

Evacuations for Whitney Portal Reserve, all residents of Whitney Portal Road North of Horseshoe Meadow Road, as well as all the Whitney Portal and Lone Pine Campground are still in effect. Beginning at 8 a.m. today residents in the two ranches west of Olivas Ranch Road are permitted to repopulate.

June 25, 2021 at 7:28 AM

Lateral movement of the Inyo Creek Fire continues to be held, with combined air and ground attack establishing 25% containment since Wednesday morning. Firefighters continue to build containment lines in very steep and rugged terrain. Today’s weather forecast calls for easterly upslope winds, with afternoon thunderstorms predicted to remain north of the fire. All fuels continue to be very dry and the potential for spotting outside the lines is possible with expected winds. Firefighter continue to actively work to contain all portions of this fire, but are hampered by warm temperatures and rocky terrain.

Evacuations orders for residents at Olivas Ranch, Whitney Portal Reserve, and all residents on Whitney Portal Road north of Horseshoe Meadow Road remain in effect, as well as all the Whitney Portal and Lone Pine Campground. Beginning at 8 a.m. today, June 25, the area east of Olivas Ranch Road will be permitted to repopulate. This includes properties along Lone Pine Creek between the current road closure and Olivas Ranch Road. Please view the Full Press Release for details.

June 24, 2021 at 8:03 AM

The Inyo Creek Fire remained relatively calm yesterday, as clouds and increased humidity helped to slow fire growth. Reported acres decreased due to more accurate mapping. Diurnal winds continued, switching to southwest in the evening, however the fire held within retardant lines placed yesterday by air tanker resources. A warming and drying trend will begin today, lasting into next week. There is an isolated chance of thunderstorms today, which could produce winds effecting the fire. Evacuations orders for residents at Olivas Ranch, Whitney Portal Reserve, and all residents on Whitney Portal Road North of Horseshoe Meadow Road remain in effect.

California Incident Management Team 13, Mike Wakoski, Incident Commander assumed command today at 7:00AM yesterday. At 7:00AM today, the fire will no longer be in Unified Command with CAL FIRE due to the diminishing threat to structures and to Bureau of Land Management lands, which are protected by CAL FIRE.

Fire crews began the process of structure protection in the Forest Service Recreational Residences along the east edge of Whitney Portal yesterday by installing fire-wrap.

Structure protection is a multiprong approach of removing combustible fuels from around the structures, such as removing firewood piles and brush or limbing nearby trees, making the structure more resistant to ignition, and in some cases installing water pumps, hoses, and sprinkler systems. Creating defensible space around your house or cabin makes this process much easier for firefighters.

One of the steps firefighters on the Inyo Creek Fire are doing for structural protection is completely wrapping the roofs and exterior walls of the structures in an aluminumized fire-wrap. Similar to a large aluminum tarp, fire-wrap is designed to reflect up to 90+% of the radiant and convective heat from an approaching fire, this wrap allows firefighters to protect structures by making them “stand alone”, or not needing firefighters to be at the structure when the fire is approaching.

This is often used in areas where fire fighters have limited vehicle access, such as historic cabins in remote areas, or in areas where fire engines will have difficulty maneuvering on steep, narrow roads.

June 23, 2021 at 7:19 PM

Whitney Portal vehicle retrieval opportunity on June 24th. On Thursday June 24 at 8 a.m. the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol, along with California Team 13, will be assisting people who had to leave their cars at Whitney Portal due to the Inyo Creek Fire. This opportunity is dependent upon favorable fire behavior and may be cancelled if conditions become unsafe. Those who wish to retrieve a vehicle parked at Whitney Portal must arrive promptly at or before 8 a.m. to the Lone Pine Sports Complex, located adjacent to the Inyo County Sheriff Substation. Those affected will be escorted or transported (if needed) to retrieve their cars. Any hiking gear, backpacks, etc. must be left and secured at the Sheriff Substation prior to being escorted or transported to their vehicles. Please keep in mind that this recovery must be done promptly so as not to interfere with fire operations. Other opportunities for vehicle retrieval will happen when conditions are deemed safe.

Inyo Creek Fire Community Meeting

The Inyo National Forest will hold a public meeting at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 24, 2021 to update the public on the progress being made on the Inyo Creek Fire. The public meeting will be held at the Spainhower Park located at 430 N. Main St., Lone Pine, CA 93545. Representatives from the Inyo National Forest, California Incident Management Team 13 and Inyo County Sheriff Department will be providing agency updates. The Inyo Creek Fire is burning on the Inyo National Forest near Whitney Portal. The fire started on Saturday, June 19, 2021 and has burned over 640 acres.

June 23, 2021 at 9:06 AM

The Inyo Creek Fire remained relatively calm overnight, with active flames visible in some sections of the fire. Winds were again diurnal down canyon from the west last night, however the fire held within retardant lines placed yesterday by air tanker resources. Winds will be a concern today as they are forecast to be from the South Southeast with gusts up to 30MPH. Evacuation orders for residents at Olivas Ranch, Whitney Portal Reserve, and all residents on Whitney Portal Road North of Horseshoe Meadow Road remain in effect today as well as all the Whitney Portal and Lone Pine Campground.

California Incident Management Team 13 Mike Wakoski, Incident Commander, was briefed yesterday and took command of the Inyo Creek Fire this morning. The fire remains in Unified Command with CAL FIRE due to state lands being threatened and the threat to structures.

Aircraft for today will include an Air Attack over the fire, 2 Type 2 Air Tankers that will be doing retardant drops, and a Lead Plane that helps to guide the Air Tankers. A Mobile Retardant Base is set up at Lone Pine Airport. This will help with aircraft being able to fill and return to the fire faster. 7 helicopters are also assigned to the fire and will be used to drop water on the fire to help slow its progress.

Closures: The Whitney Portal Road is closed at Horseshoe Meadow Road. The Forest is working with the Inyo County Sheriff on the road closure. At this time all hikers that have planned to exit the Mt Whitney Trailhead should use a different exit point such as, the Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead or Onion Valley. Wilderness Rangers are camped at Trail Camp to try to get the word out to those that are still in the backcountry. It is still unsafe to attempt retrieving vehicles from Whitney Portal, an announcement will be made when it is safe to try to reschedule an escort.

June 22, 2021 at 8:35 AM

The Inyo Creek Fire grew significantly last night fanned by wind gusts of 35 MPH. These winds were a diurnal shift down canyon from the West, fanning the fire down canyon into Lone Pine Creek. This also caused multiple spot fires ahead of the fire triggering additional evacuations of residents at Olivas Ranch, Whitney Portal Reserve, and all residents on Whitney Portal Road North of Horseshoe Meadow Road. All these additional residents were safely evacuated last night.

A Type 2 team is on order to take over the Inyo Creek Fire. The team will be briefed this afternoon and take over the fire tomorrow morning. Last night the fire also went into Unified Command with CALFIRE due to state lands being threatened and the threat to structures.

Additional aircraft for today will include an Air Attack over the fire, 2 Type 2 Air Tankers that will be doing retardant drops, and a Lead Plane that helps to guide the Air Tankers. A Mobile Retardant Base is being set up at Lone Pine Airport and will be operational by this afternoon. This will help with aircraft being able to fill and return to the fire faster.

Closures: The Whitney Portal Road is closed at Horseshoe Meadow Road. The Forest is working with the Inyo County Sheriff on the road closure. At this time through hikers that have planned to exit the Mt Whitney Trailhead should use a different exit point such as, the Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead or Onion Valley. Hikers that have vehicles up at Whitney Portal should plan on another exit point. The car retrieval scheduled for today has been cancelled due to the increased fire activity and the risks to public and firefighter safety. An announcement will be made when it is safe to try to reschedule the car retrieval escort.

June 22, 2021 at 8:23 AM

The vehicle retrieval opportunity has been cancelled due to unsafe conditions. The #InyoCreekFire grew to approximately 1000 acres overnight.

June 21, 2021 at 7:17 PM

On Tuesday June 22 at 8 a.m. there will be an opportunity for those who have a vehicle parked at Whitney Portal to retrieve it. This opportunity is dependent upon favorable fire behavior and may be cancelled if conditions become unsafe. Those who wish to retrieve a vehicle parked at Whitney Portal must arrive promptly at or before 8 a.m. to the intersection of Whitney Portal Road and Movie Road. Please note that drivers are not available, so you must have a ride up to the portal in another private vehicle. Vehicles will be escorted by Law Enforcement Officers.

The Inyo National Forest’s Type 3 Incident Management Organization has been activated to take command over the Inyo Creek Fire. An inversion set in over the fire last night which helped limit growth. Spot fires were observed in Meysan Lake drainage in very steep terrain. This has prompted fire managers to send some of the resources assigned up to Whitney Portal to do prep work around structures in the event that the fire makes a run towards the Portal. Most of the fire growth has been in the Inyo Creek drainage due to rollout because of the steep terrain.     

Today, crews will continue to strengthen contingency lines below the fire. Helicopters will be used to do numerous bucket drops to cool the fire’s edge.  Multiple other resources are on order. 

Closures: Whitney Portal Road is closed at the Horseshoe Meadow Road intersection. The Forest is working with the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office on the road closure. At this time, through hikers that have planned to exit at Mt Whitney Trailhead should use a different exit point such as Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead or Onion Valley. Hikers that have vehicles up at Whitney Portal and are exiting the trail at the Portal can get their vehicles and drive out, however they will not be allowed to go back up. These hikers are also advised to stay up to date on the fire as this situation could change rapidly. People that have vehicles at the Portal and are getting a ride back to their vehicles will not be allowed up the road. 

Mt. Whitney Trailhead, the Whitney Portal Store, Whitney Portal Campground, Recreation Residents, Lone Pine Campground, and Meysan Lake Trail remain closed.      

June 20, 2021 at 4:05 PM

Fire Management is currently working with the Inyo County Sherriff to get all of Whitney Portal evacuated. The fire is expected to establish into Meysan Lake Drainage and move towards the Portal. This is a one way in one way out road and it is critical to evacuate to reduce the possibility of a chaotic situation. The Inyo County Sheriff’s will be physically contacting visitors, residents, and business owners to notify them of the evacuation. This will consist of the Mt. Whitney Trailhead, the Whitney Portal Store, Whitney Portal Campground, Recreation Residents, Lone Pine Campground, and Meysan Lake Trail. 

The Inyo Creek Fire continued to burn overnight and through today. Caused by lightning, the fire is approximately 50 acres and burning on the Northeast side of Lone Pine Peak and very close to the Meysan Lake Drainage that runs directly toward Whitney Portal. There is 0% containment because ground crews are limited on taking direct action on the fire due to the steep and rugged terrain the fire is burning in. Helicopters have been providing bucket drops to try to keep the fire in check, however mechanical problems have limited the number of helicopters that are able to work on that task.

Southwest winds of 10-15 MPH, temperatures more than 100 degrees, and rollout due to the steep terrain have caused the fire to grow. These conditions are expected to continue through today. Gusty winds are also expected tonight. It is critical that people stay out of the Whitney Portal area. If the fire gets established in the Meysan Lake Drainage, it could move towards the Portal area quickly. 

June 19, 2021 at 8:07 PM

The Inyo Creek fire was discovered early this morning. Caused by lightning that came through the area two days ago, the fire is highly visible where it is located on the North East side of Lone Pine Peak. Currently the fire is around 1 acre in size, but the remote and rugged location is limiting crews from making access. Crews on the ground are working on contingency line below the fire and 2 helicopters are being used to drop buckets of water directly on the fire.

There is a chance that the fire could get established in the Meysan Lake drainage as it is very close to that drainage. The Meysan Lake drainage runs directly down to the Whitney Portal area. There is a possibility of evacuations if the Inyo Creek Fire gets into the Meysan Lake drainage. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would issue a Code Red alert to advise those needing to evacuate. If evacuations are needed, the Whitney Portal Store, the Whitney Portal Campground, the Mt. Whitney trailhead, Recreation Residents, Lone Pine Campground, and the Meysan Lake trail would be included in the evacuation area. As of now there are no evacuations.    

There are currently 3 type 1 crews, 2 type 3 engines, 1 watertender, 1 type 1 helicopter, 1 type 2 helicopter, and 1 type 3 helicopter assigned to the fire. Another type 1 helicopter is on order for tomorrow to assist with water drops. Another update will come out tomorrow afternoon unless there are any significant changes.