Lions Fire Now at 8,711 Acres; 70 Percent Containment

Staff Writer

The Lions Fire is estimated at 8,711acres with 70 percent containment on Aug. 9, for an increase of 227 acres since yesterday, according to firefighting officials. There are 178 personnel committed to the fire, including 6 crews, 4 helicopters, and a pack string of mules from the Stanislaus National Forest, according to officials in a recent news release.

The northeast, east, and southern flanks of the fire are contained. All burning activities on northeast flank are completed.

Crews remain focused on creating containment lines along the southwest flank, where the fire has been active for the past several days challenging containment lines with wind driven growth. Crews are completing direct and indirect hand line in an effort to keep the fire from crossing the North Fork of the San Joaquin River using trail networks and natural barriers where possible. Along the northwest flank, the fire is moving into sparse fuels and cliffs.

Yesterday’s observed fire activity included moderate fire behavior with single tree torching, backing, and some uphill growth. This area has 50 percent tree mortality from bark beetles and drought in this area. These conditions, along with blowdown from a 2011 wind event, have contributed to a buildup of heavy fuels, creating difficult fire fighting conditions.

Hot and dry conditions remain in the forecast with light southwest winds expected for today, and gusty winds in the afternoon. There is a significant warming and drying trend predicted for this week.

Isolated thunderstorms are expected to begin near the fire as early as Friday.

The Reds Meadow Road and all services in the Reds Meadow Valley, including Devils Postpile National Monument and Rainbow Falls, remain open.

Closures: There is an emergency trail closure for the Fern Lake and Beck Lake Trails on the Inyo National Forest and emergency trail closures and a Forest Order to close the area on the Sierra National Forest (west of the North Fork of the San Joaquin River, north of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River and South of Iron Creek).

Smoke: See the smoke outlook report or visit