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The Mono-logue » Blog Archive » Wildfire west of Mono Lake: 150-acre Walker Fire

Wildfire west of Mono Lake: 150-acre Walker Fire

August 15th, 2015 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Smoke from the Walker Fire was visible from the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center this morning. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Smoke from the Walker Fire was visible from the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center this morning. Photo by Elin Ljung.

According to the Inyo National Forest, the Walker Fire started last night and has grown to approximately 150 acres this morning. It is located just north of Walker Lake in the Mono Basin, toward the north end of the June Lake Loop (Highway 158). Firefighters from local departments and agency crews responded quickly, and about 150 firefighters and one helicopter are on the scene.

The Walker Lake Resort has been evacuated, and the dirt road along the base of the mountains (road 1N17, known locally as the “aqueduct road”) is closed. The Mono Pass trailhead at Walker Lake is also closed. Highway 120 west to Tioga Pass and the entrance to Yosemite National Park is open. Highway 395, the June Lake Loop, and all Mono Lake access points are also open.

Visitors will see smoke from Highway 395, the June Lake area, the Mono Lake area, and the town of Lee Vining. Right now in Lee Vining the air is clear with a few small white ashes falling.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. However, after four years of record drought, and with 17 wildfires currently burning in California, it bears repeating that fire restrictions are in effect. In the Inyo National Forest and on local BLM lands, this means no campfires, no barbeques, and no stoves outside of designated campgrounds. When in doubt, get a California campfire permit from the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center.

The Walker Fire, shortly after it ignited late on Friday, August 14. Photo courtesy of Todd Robertson.

The Walker Fire seen from Highway 395, shortly after it ignited late on Friday, August 14. Photo courtesy of Todd Robertson.

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