UPDATE: Fire three miles from Bodie closes road to state park temporarily

A lightning fire that started in Nevada and crossed the state line has moved closer to Bodie State Park in the past two days, according to federal fire officials.

As of Wednesday, Aug. 21, the Spring Peak Fire was about 14,300 acres and about 39 percent contained, according to a news release.

The fire is about 12 miles northwest of Mono Lake.

The roads to the park, the Bodie Road (or S.R. 267) and the Cottonwood Road (or S.R. 170), have been closed for the past few days due to safety concerns regarding the heavy fire vehicle traffic using the road.

Mark Regan, the information officer for the fire, said firefighters are aware of how important Bodie is, both as a historical site and as an economic benefit, to Mono County.

“Efforts are still focused on Bodie State Park,” he said.

“We would like to open the road to the park as soon as possible, but on Monday, there were 400 visitors using the road and there is just too much potential for an accident with all the fire vehicles also using the road.

“We will open the road as soon as possible,” Regan said.

He said the fire has not compromised the historical areas surrounding Aurora so far, including the cemetery.

Another concern facing firefighters, besides the still unsettled weather that drove the fire another mile closer to Bodie on Tuesday, is that the area is prime sage grouse habitat, and the grouse is listed as a potential endangered species.

“Crews are patrolling, monitoring and evaluating structures in the Bodie area,” Regan said. “In addition, bi-state sage grouse habitats are still of utmost concern.”

 According to the most recent news release regarding the fire, “onlookers are asked to stay out of the area so fire crews can safely conduct operations. As a reminder, drivers having to travel on the roadways near the fire are asked to use extra caution as crews and apparatus are still actively working.”

The Sierra Front Cooperators, led by Incident Commander Mike Brown, have been managing the incident after taking over the fire on Aug. 19.

Firefighters include U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Division of Forestry, National Guard, Nevada Division of Emergency Management, CalFire, California State Parks, Reno Fire Department, Sparks Fire Department, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, Carson City Fire Department, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection, Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection, Storey County Fire Department, Mason Valley Fire Department, Central Lyon County Fire Protection District, East Fork Fire Protection District, California Highway Patrol, and local law enforcement agencies.

For the most up to date information, visit the Sierra Front Wildland Cooperators Facebook page or visit

goo.gl/H3zVQ7 (case sensitive).

From August 20:

There is a 12,600 acre fire burning about three miles from Bodie State Park and the road to Bodie is closed at this time, although it may open again later today, according to Mark Regan, an information officer for the fire (the Spring Peak Fire). The road is closed to minimize danger to the public as the road is also being used by fire vehicles, not because Bodie is in danger, he said. The fire is 15 percent contained and it was started in Nevada on Aug. 17 by a lightning strike. It has now crossed the California border and firefighters are hoping the rain last night gave them an upper hand, although more wind is expected today. For more information on this fire, go to: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/article/3668/20490/