Owens River Fire burns 6,000 acres north of Mammoth Lakes

Owens River Fire
A BAe-146 drops retardant on the Owens River Fire. Photo by Justin Benttinen.

(UPDATED at 2:43 p.m. PDT September 20, 2016)

The spread of the Owen River Fire in eastern California 36 miles northwest of Bishop moderated on Monday. A heat-sensing satellite only detected a couple of large heat sources on the fire during a Monday afternoon overflight. This does not mean the fire is almost out;  there are no doubt many small heat sources that the satellite could not detect from 200 miles above the earth.


(Originally published at 3:29 p.m. PDT September 19, 2016)

The Owens River Fire has burned at least 6,000 acres in eastern California 36 miles northwest of Bishop. It is approximately 6 to 8 miles from two popular ski areas, Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain. According to a report from a Californian who contacted us, at one point three Very Large Air Tankers, DC-10’s, were dispatched to the fire.

It started during the afternoon of September 17th and is burning sagebrush and Jeffrey pine along Owens River Road near Clark Canyon, east of Highway 395.

Four uninhabited outbuildings and several pieces of heavy equipment were destroyed during the initial response Saturday.

The Big Springs Campground, Clark Canyon (a popular climbing area), and nearby ranches and developments have been evacuated. The Owens River Road and the Whitmore Springs Roads are closed.

There are 483 personnel, 9 hand crews, 48 engines, 3 air tankers, 7 helicopters, 3 dozers, and 6 water tenders assigned to the fire.

Owens River Fire
The dots represent heat detected on the Owen River Fire by a satellite. The red dots, the most recent, were observed at 3:30 a.m. PDT September 19, 2016.

The cause of the fire is under investigation but appears to be human-caused.

Owens River Fire
A C-130 at the Owens River Fire.
Owens River Fire
Owens River Fire as seen by Anton Brey from Mammoth Mountain.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Johnny.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

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.

One thought on “Owens River Fire burns 6,000 acres north of Mammoth Lakes”

Comments are closed.