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Beach Fire Update 8/20/20

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avatar Fire Crews Respond to Beach Fire 8/17/2020
August 17, 2020 04:42PM
August 17, 2020
Size: 1,650 (estimated)
Containment: 20%
Location: Southeast of Mono Lake
Fuels: Sagebrush
Cause: Lightning

Fire crews are responding to and aggressively suppressing the Beach Fire, which started by lightning yesterday evening. Fire growth was driven by the erratic and gusty winds associated with the thunderstorms in the area. Last night, the fire received some rain which moderated fire behavior and allowed firefighters to start establishing containment lines.

Today, crews will continue to construct containment line around the fire. Firefighters are also responding to other fires associated with the significant lightning activity that occurred throughout the forest, especially the northern portion of the forest.

Weather: Thunderstorms are in the forecast as the monsoonal pattern continues. Gusty winds from thunder cell down drafts could increase fire activity in the fire area, similar to what was experienced yesterday afternoon.

Closures: Highway 120 is closed from south junction of 395 to Benton Crossing Rd.

Assisting agencies include California Highway Patrol, Cal Trans, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish & Wildlife, California State Parks, and CAL FIRE.

Resources: There are 100 personnel assigned to the incident, including seven engines, a type 2 hand crew, a water tender, a dozer, and a helicopter. More resources have been ordered, but there has been significant amount of new fire activity in California in the past several days.
avatar Beach Fire 08/17/20 Evening Update
August 17, 2020 07:58PM
Size: 2,000 acres (estimated)
Containment: 60%
Location: Southeast of Mono Lake
Fuels: Sagebrush
Cause: Lightning

Fire crews are responding to and aggressively suppressing the Beach Fire, which was started by lightning yesterday evening. Today, crews made good progress constructing containment lines around the fire. However, fire activity increased this afternoon with winds over the fire. The fire grew on the western flank and firefighters are working to re-establish the containment lines tonight. Fire behavior has moderated this evening. Crew suppression efforts are focused on protecting the Mono Basin State Park, sage grouse habitat, and wild horses.

Firefighters continue to respond to other fires associated with the significant lightning activity that occurred throughout the forest, especially the northern portion of the forest.

Weather: Thunderstorms remain in the forecast as the monsoonal pattern continues. Gusty winds, low relative humidity, and excessive heat are significant concerns for fire behavior.

Closures: Highway 120 East is closed from the junction of Highway 395 to the Benton Crossing Rd.

Assisting agencies include California Highway Patrol, Cal Trans, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish & Wildlife, California State Parks, and CAL FIRE.

Resources: There are 116 personnel assigned to the incident. This includes six engines, three hand crews, two helicopters, a dozer, and a water tender. More resources have been ordered, but there has been a significant amount of new fire activity in California in the past several days.
avatar Beach Fire Update 8/18/20 6:00 pm
August 19, 2020 11:13AM
Size: 3,780 acres (estimated)
Containment: 80%
Location: Southeast of Mono Lake
Fuels: Sagebrush
Cause: Lightning

Update: Today, fire activity was moderate as clouds and some rain were over the area. Fire crews made excellent progress and got initial containment lines around the entire fire perimeter, although some of these lines will need to be improved. Helicopters cooled some interior pockets of heat on the northeast flank. Firefighters continued mopping up hot spots along the fire perimeter. Crews will continue these efforts tonight.

Crew suppression efforts are focused on protecting the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve and sage grouse habitat. The helicopter work should help keep some interior islands of sage brush unburned to aid in sage brush habitat preservation where sage grouse nest.

Firefighters continue to patrol the forest looking for other fires associated with the significant lightning activity. The Butte Fire, north of Pumice Butte and south of Mammoth Mountain, has been detected and is .25 acres. Firefighters are hiking in to suppress this fire. Other fires, which firefighters refer to as sleeper fires, may be detected when conditions dry and the fires become active.

Weather: Thunderstorms remain in the forecast as the monsoonal pattern continues. Gusty winds, low relative humidity, and excessive heat are significant concerns for fire behavior. Additional lightning fires are also possible.

Closures: Highway 120 E is closed from the junction of Highway 395 to the Benton Crossing Rd.

Resources: There are 104 personnel assigned to the incident. This includes six engines, two hand crews, two helicopters, one dozer, and a water tender. Assisting agencies include California Highway Patrol, Cal Trans, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish & Wildlife, and California State Parks.
avatar Beach Fire Update 8/20/20
August 20, 2020 02:04PM
Size: 3,780 acres (estimated)
Containment: 80%
Location: Southeast of Mono Lake
Fuels: Sagebrush
Cause: Lightning

Update: Fire activity remains minimal. Today crews will continue to mop up by removing hot spots near the fire’s edge to further secure containment lines. Crews are also beginning to assess fireline suppression repair and rehabilitation to mitigate or eliminate environmental resource impacts. Firefighters will repair firelines, leaving the area as close to natural as possible and allow for drainage to prevent erosion on firelines.

Firefighters continue to patrol the forest looking for other fires associated with the significant lightning activity. Other fires, which firefighters refer to as sleeper fires, may be detected when conditions dry and the fires become active.

Weather: There is a red flag warning this afternoon for low relative humidity and wind.

Closures: The South Tufa Area is closed. All forest roads leading into South Tufa are closed. Firefighters continue to work here, and the fire has burned through much of this area.

Resources: There are 157 personnel assigned to the incident. This includes 10 engines, four hand crews, one helicopter, two dozers, and two water tenders. It is anticipated some resources will be re-assigned to other fires throughout the state. Assisting agencies include Bureau of Land Management and California State Parks.
avatar Beach Fire Area Closed under Forest Order
August 22, 2020 10:04AM
The Inyo National Forest has closed the Beach Fire Area under a forest closure order. This order is in effect until the Beach Fire is declared out. This includes the Beach Fire Closure Area and any forest road that accesses the Beach Fire Closure Area. Access to Navy Beach and the South Tufa Area is prohibited at this time. Firefighters continue to work here, and the fire has burned through much of this area.

The Beach Fire started by lightning and is currently 85% contained and 3,780 acres.
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