UPDATE SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 6 PM: Wildfire North of Lee Vining Grows to 600 Acres; 395 Remains Closed

Wendilyn Grasseschi
Times Reporter

The U.S Forest service has confirmed that U.S. 395 remains closed as of the afternoon of June 25, with single-lane escorts provided as conditions allow.
As of 6 p.m., the Forest Service is reporting that the Marina fire is at 819 acres, and five percent containment.

Lee Vining, which is open for business and has not burned in any way at this time, is under an advisory to be ready to evacuate but it can still be accessed from the south, i.e. Mammoth.

Officials said they predict the fire will be fully contained by this Thursday

Prevailing winds were pushing the fire away from Lee Vining yesterday, but that also means they were pushing the fire toward another community, Mono City, which is also under an advisory to be ready to evacuate.

According to officials, the fire jumped the highway on Friday, June 24 burning nearly to the shore of Mono Lake.

Crews worked overnight to secure firelines near the communities and the highway, taking advantage of cooler temperatures and calm winds that decreased fire behavior, she said in a news release June 25.

"Today crews will continue to construct direct line on the north and south flanks, and look for opportunities for indirect contingency lines," she said. "Warm, dry conditions will continue and down canyon winds are anticipated this afternoon.

"Highway 395 is closed at the town of Lee Vining on the south at the turnoff for Hawthorne, NV (Highway 167) on the north. There is no estimated time for the highway to re-open at this time. The Tioga Lodge and two additional residences have been evacuated. Lee Vining and Mono City are under an evacuation advisory."

There are approximately 300 personnel on the fire, according to the news release. A Type 2 team, which is a team with more resources than local teams, has been ordered and will arrive on the fire today before assuming command of the fire, the news release states.

Seven hand crews, 23 engines, six helicopters, two fixed wing aircraft, and two dozers are assigned to the fire.

The fire is under Unified Command with the US Forest Service and Mono County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire has been determined to be human-caused and remains under investigation.

Several sources from the local area told the Times that the fire was likely caused by a transformer or electric power line problem, given the location of the origin of the fire, but this has not be substantiated and the cause of the fire is being investigated.