Wildfire east of Bishop moving quickly to the south, Big Pine partially evacuated

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THE AIRPORT FIRE as seen from Mac’s Sporting Goods in Bishop Wednesday afternoon. NICK LARA PHOTO
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Owens River Warm Springs and Collins Road directly affected

BY MIKE STEVENS

WON Staff Writer

BISHOP — A vegetation fire broke out east of Bishop yesterday at 12:40 p.m. and has spread to nearly 4,000 acres with no containment as of this morning. The “Airport Fire” posed a minimal threat to the city of Bishop as steady winds out of the northwest pushed the blaze south, but it did trigger evacuations of several structures in that section of the Owens Valley as well as those on the east side of Highway 395 in the town of Big Pine.

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Specifically, evacuation orders were sent to the White Mountain Research Center and Owens Valley (Caltech) Radio Observatory. According to Cal Fire, the fire continued to remain active overnight, burning to the south, and firefighters are actively engaged in perimeter and structure defense.  Winds have remained steady and will continue at 10 to 15 mph out of the northwest.

Bishop Senior Center is standing as an evacuation center, and road closures include Warm Springs Road and Highway 168 east of 395.

A total of 432 personnel are currently working the fire, and as of this morning there were no injuries or structure damage. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“It seems to have done some damage to a good stretch of the river,” said Nick Lara of Mac’s Sporting Goods in Bishop. “Collins (road) took a direct hit last night. Now we’ll wait and check out the damage.”

THE OWENS VALLEY RADIO OBSERVATORY, also known as, “the big ears,” near Bishop. CAL FIRE PHOTO

 

THE AIRPORT FIRE as seen by Cal Fire aircraft.
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