Round Fire in California causes evacuations

(UPDATE at 7:50 a.m. PST, February 10, 2015)

Beginning on Monday residents were allowed into the fire area. It is still reported to be 7,000 acres and the Incident Commander is calling it 95 percent contained. This will be our last report on the fire unless there are major new developments.

(UPDATE at 1:30 p.m. PST, February 8, 2015)

CAL FIRE Public Information Officer Daniel Berlant confirmed that 40 residences burned in the Round Fire north of Bishop, California. An additional five were damaged. Their web site has been reporting that “40 residences and outbuildings” were destroyed.

Map, Round Fire
Click HERE to view a zoomable version of the map of the Round Fire.


(UPDATED at 8:45 a.m. PST, February 8, 2015)

Round fire
Round Fire February 6, 2015. Jim Stimson photo via J.McDavid and @bbdd333.

There has been no major change in the status of the Round fire north of Bishop, California. It is still listed at 7,000 acres but the incident commander has raised the containment to 65 percent.

CAL FIRE has still not broken down the number of residences vs. outbuildings that have been destroyed. They are lumped together for a total of 40.

Evacuations still remain in effect. Downed power lines make re-entry hazardous for homeowners. Trees damaged by fire are being assessed and tagged as hazards for removal.

The county sheriff’s office has assembled a list of resources for residents affected by the fire.

Round Fire
Round Fire. Photo via Inyo County Sheriff.
Round Fire map 2-7-2015
Click here to download a higher-res version of this map.


(UPDATED at 6:10 p.m. PST, February 7, 2015)

The Associated Press is quoting CAL FIRE Captain Liz Brown a saying “40 residences and several outbuildings were destroyed” in the Round Fire north of Bishop, California.

CAL FIRE is saying “40 residences and outbuildings” were destroyed.

The Incident Commander is calling it 7,000 acres and 50 percent contained.

The Owens Valley weather station has recorded rain off and on since midnight, with the latest being 0.06 inch between 1 and 2 p.m. today.


(UPDATED at 10:06 a.m. PST, February 7, 2015)

CAL FIRE has revised the size of the Round Fire. Now they say it has burned 7,000 acres. The 133 percent increase, from 3,000 acres reported at 7 a.m., was due to better mapping.


(UPDATED at 9:05 a.m. PST, February 7, 2015)

The Round fire north of Bishop, California has burned 3,000 acres and 20 structures and outbuildings, according to a Saturday morning update from CAL FIRE.

The towns of Paradise and Swall Meadows are still under a mandatory evacuation order. Downed power lines and venting propane tanks make re-entry for residents dangerous.

Significant rainfall stopped the forward spread of the fire around 2 a.m. on Saturday. The area continues to receive a small amount of rain Saturday morning — 0.01 inch between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

The Incident Commander is calling it 30 percent contained.


(UPDATED at 7:25 a.m. PST, February 7, 2015)

Round Fire 3D map
A 3D map of the general location of the Round Fire west of Highway 395. The green line is the county line. (click to enlarge)

The Round Fire north of Bishop, California near Swall Meadows and Round Valley has burned one residence and an outbuilding, according to information from CAL FIRE at 9:15 p.m. on February 6. The fire had burned 500 acres at the time of their report. It started at about 2 p.m. on Friday.

A satellite flyover at 12:30 a.m. PST on Saturday detected some scattered heat in the Swall Meadows area, but the relatively light fuels will not retain heat for very long, making it difficult for the infrared equipment on the satellite to detect heat hours after the fire passes through an area.

On Friday the strong winds made it impossible for fixed or rotary wing aircraft to work the fire.

Between midnight and 6 a.m. on Saturday the Owens Valley weather station recorded 0.27 inch of precipitation. Saturday morning the chance of rain is predicted to be 100 percent, but by 10 a.m. it should decrease to 46 percent. Throughout the day on Saturday the additional precipitation could amount to about 0.05 inch.

According to CALTRANS Highway 395 is open, after being closed earlier due to the fire. The wind warning for high profile vehicles has also been dropped.


Round Fire
Round Fire. Photo by California Dept. of Transportation.

(Originally published at 6:10 p.m. PST, February 6, 2015)

A vegetation fire north of Bishop, California west of Highway 395 has required the evacuation of two communities in the northern portion of the Round Valley area. Residents of Swall Meadows and Paradise approximately 10 miles north of Bishop are under mandatory evacuation orders.

At about 5:45 p.m. local time the Inyo County Sheriff Office said that the fire had burned 100 acres.

A CAL FIRE update said erratic winds have caused the fire to spread in variable directions. There is an unconfirmed report that at one point winds were gusting to 70 mph. Highway 395 was closed to high profile vehicles at 7 p.m. local time due to the wind.

Round Fire
Round Fire. Photo by Inyo County Sheriff’s Office.

Agencies responding include CalFIRE, Bishop Volunteer Fire Department, CHP, Paradise Volunteer Fire Department, Forest Service, BLM, and Inyo Sheriff’s Office.

An evacuation center has been established at the Crowley Lake Community Center, at 458 S. Landing Rd Crowley Lake, CA.

Friday morning the National Weather Service issued the following wind warning. The fire started in the upper-right of the map, north of Bishop.

NWS wind advisoryPrecipitation shows up on radar east of the area, and the weather forecast predicts a 53 percent chance of rain after midnight, with accumulations of about 0.10 inch by dawn. The forecast calls for 17 mph southwest winds gusting to 26, decreasing after midnight to 1 to 7 mph, with the relative humidity over 80 percent.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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