Fire Near Topaz Triggers Evacuation Orders, Closes U.S 395

A view of the Slinkard Fire nearing Topaz, taken Aug. 30 and looking roughly toward the west. Photo submitted.
Staff Writer

The Slinkard Fire, located in the Slinkard Valley, west of Topaz in Mono County, California continues to grow today, Aug. 30, influenced by wind.

According to a spokeswoman for the Inyo National Forest, Deb Schweizer, the fire has crossed S.R. 89 and is moving east toward the community of Topaz and part of Topaz has been ordered to evacuate.

"U.S. Highway 395 is closed from Bridgeport to the Nevada state line and Topaz has been evacuated north of Hwy 89 to the Nevada state line," she said. "Fire crews are putting in dozer line along the eastern edge of Topaz and numerous engines are in place for structure protection.

"The fire is estimated to be 1,500 acres with zero percent containment. The fire is burning in cheat grass, sagebrush and pinyon/juniper.

"For public safety, S.R. 89 remains closed between U.S. 395 and S.R. 4 (at Monitor Pass). U.S. 395 is closed from the junction of S.R. 182 in Bridgeport to the Nevada state line.

"Unsettled weather will remain a concern for today, with thunderstorm activity and winds in the forecast.

"There are five crews, numerous engines, three helicopters and support staff assigned to the fire. A Type 3 Team has been ordered and is enroute. A Type 1 Team is being ordered.

"This appears to be a lightning-caused fire," she said.