The 2020 California wildfires have been anything but predictable or precedented. Not only has fire and smoke interfered with daily life in Mammoth Lakes, but it has been so dangerous that forest officials have been forced to close public lands surrounding town, specifically the Inyo National Forest and the Sierra National Forest.
Accordingly, during October, which is traditionally the most intense part of fire season in California, firefighters have made enough significant progress against the local fires to begin reopening some public lands surrounding Mammoth Lakes. To help you know what’s open and what to expect next, the ASO Mammoth team has put together a short guide to when the Mammoth forest re-open below. Check it out and stay safe!
Please Review and Follow All Fire Guidelines While Outside
Before you head outside, please review all fire guidelines for wherever you’re going even if you’re sure you know how to be fire safe. Everyone could use a refresher on fire guidelines right now, and if you know the specific guidelines for where you’re going then you can remind other visitors of the rules if you see them doing something unsafe.
The forests are still incredibly vulnerable to fire at this time and firefighters are still needed to put out the remaining fires, so please be overly cautious when you step outside.
The Inyo National Forest is Partially Re-Opened
Although the Inyo National Forest was scheduled to be closed until at least October 8th, improving conditions allowed the Inyo National Forest to partially open on October 3rd. As of now, the wildernesses in the Inyo Mountains and White Mountains, dispersed areas, and developed sites as well as recreational resident cabins are open.
The Inyo National Forest within Madera County remains closed. Also, the Inyo portions of the South Sierra, Golden Trout, John Muir, Ansel Adams, Owens River Headwaters, and Hoover Wilderness Areas remain closed through December 1, 2020.
Improving conditions are what have allowed these areas to reopen and if the conditions worsen then the areas are likely to close again, so please check the most recent conditions for the area you’re visiting before you head out the door and stay up to date on the most recent fire developments. For more information about Inyo Forest’s fire status, check out the Inyo National Forest Facebook page here.
The Sierra National Forest is Continuing to Allow Access for Property Retrieval and Winterization as of October 8th
As of October 8th, the U.S. Forest Service is providing windows during the weekend for people who own property and boats in the Sierra National Forest to retrieve their property and winterize it if necessary. For now, the Forest Service is planning on allowing people to enter the forest on October 10th and 11th temporarily. The water levels in Huntington Lake will be lowered on October 15th, so any remaining boats must be removed before then. Please be aware that trash services have not been restored, so whatever trash you find while winterizing your property must be taken with you out of the forest!
The Forest Service will be evaluating the status of the forest each day to determine when it is safe for it to be opened completely. Until then, stay posted by checking the Sierra National Forest Facebook page here. You can also find more information about the recent Mammoth forest re-open progress there as well as any news of closures.