A lightning caused wildfire is burning on the Inyo side of the Golden Trout Wilderness. It is known as the Cow Fire. Here is the latest information and trail closures.
The Cow Fire, burning in the Golden Trout Wilderness, has increased to 600 acres. This is part of the contain and confine strategy: 100-200 acres of new fire growth daily is expected as crews complete backfiring along control lines. Final fire size is anticipated to be about 2,000 acres in about 2 weeks, weather and crew availability permitting. The fire continues to burn on its own within established control lines. The main fuels are dead and down trees, branches and duff. The trees of this lodgepole pine and red fir forest are rarely catching fire; this is an understory fire. Areas of active burning are burning slowly, at low-intensity, allowing firefighters to keep the fire within the natural and augmented barriers of the planning area. Most of the smoke produced is from large down logs. Some of this smoke may be visible along Highway 395, near Olancha and in Kennedy Meadows and in the Kern River drainage.
The Cow Fire has reached a series of wet meadows and an unnamed creek on the western perimeter and is close to Schaeffer Stringer on the southeastern border. It is burning slowly towards the Long Canyon Trail (3511) that has been reinforced with handline on the fire’s eastern edge. The barriers on the northeast perimeter are farther away and firefighters are working to strengthen the natural fire lines of Strawberry Creek and Schaeffer Meadow.
There are 3 wildfire modules and one hotshot crew divided between 3 spike camps near the fire area. There has been at least one wildfire module on this fire for the last 30 days. The fire is being supported and managed from the Mt. Whitney Ranger Station in Lone Pine. “We are pleased with the fire effects on the ground; we’re getting a low severity fire” said Jason Wingard, IC for the Cow Fire.
Several back-country trail segments have been closed for public safety and firefighter focus. All segments are on R35E T18S Section 31 and R35E T19S Sections 4,5,6,8,9,17 and 18 of the Templeton Mountain topo map. The segments are:
w 3507 from Templeton Cow Camp east to the intersection with 3412/3512 near Strawberry Creek
w 3510 from the intersection with 3512 near Strawberry Creek east to the South Fork of the Kern River
w 3512 from the intersection with 3510 (near Strawberry Creek) south to Schaeffer Stringer near Iron Spring
w 3511 from where it intersects 3512 south to where it crosses Schaeffer Stringer