California Wildfires Burning in Coastal And Sierra Wilderness

June 23, 2021

California wildfires were burning in tinder dry vegetation in rugged central coast mountains and near an Eastern Sierra trailhead where hikers begin treks to the summit of Mount Whitney.

More than 500 firefighters were battling the Willow Fire, which has scorched nearly 41/2 square miles south of Big Sur in Los Padres National Forest.

The blaze posed a threat to the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a Buddhist monastery located in a remote valley. Crews were setting up defenses to protect structures there and at a recreation center.

On the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada, the Inyo Creek Fire in the Whitney Portal area near the town of Lone Pine thwarted hikers planning to climb Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the contiguous United States.

The fire was officially estimated at 410 acres Tuesday, said Inyo National Forest spokeswoman Kirstie Butler.

Hikers were unable to begin treks at Whitney Portal and rangers were in the wilderness to divert returning hikers to other longer egress trails. A plan to escort hikers to about 30 cars they had parked in the portal area was foiled by the fire’s movement.

Topics Catastrophe California Natural Disasters Wildfire

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