The lightning caused Aspen Fire began July 22 in the Sierra National Forest south of Mammoth Pools Reservoir. Acres burned has increased by half each day for the past three days reaching 9,000 acres as of this morning with minimal containment. The Forest Service has nearly 1,200 firefighters on scene. Air tankers from nearby Fresno are assisting.
Firefighters are trying to keep the fire from moving into the 23,000 acre Kaiser Wilderness. Elevation and topography make the Aspen Fire especially difficult to battle. Elevation at Mammoth Pools is approximately 3,500 ft.. Kaiser Peak stands over 10,000 ft. Prevailing winds and topography favor the fire moving east to higher elevations. Weather is also hampering suppression efforts. Though winds have been light daytime temps at the 4,000 ft level are pushing 90 degrees with humidity in the mid teens. Firefighters are using indirect suppression tactics such as firing operations and line building away from the fire line. If the fire reaches the designated Wilderness mechanized tools may not be used though air tankers and helicopters may be utilized.
Aspen Fire links;