Smoke is visible from the camp cemetery (above) and the Visitor Center (below). (Manzanar National Historic Site)

LONE PINE — Due to fires to the west and to the south, the Manzanar National Historic Site was closed on Friday and Saturday and will remain closed until further notice.

The public is asked to stay out of the way of fire personnel. Inyo County Sheriff’s Office will post occasional updates on the fires. You can also follow https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2021/6/18/alabama-fire/ for updates.

On June 18 at approximately 0140 hours, Inyo County Sheriff’s Department dispatch received a 911 call of a reported vegetation fire near the Alabama Hills Recreation Area off the Whitney Portal Road and Hogback Fs14S04 Road.

Responding units arrived at scene and reported 10 acres involved with moderate to dangerour rates of spread. The fire was burning on Cal Fire DPA land with threat to federal Forest Service land. At 0510 the Inyo National Forest went into unified command with Cal Fire due to the fire moving onto the Inyo National Forest. The fire was mapped at 419 acres with 10% containment [now 30%], with 260 personnel assigned.

Most BLM-managed public lands withing\ the jurisdiction of the Bishop Field Office are designated as Cal Fire’s Direct Protection Area (DPA). This agreement authorizes Cal Fire, as a state agency, to assume the primary responsibility for attacking wildland fire and suppression actions, even on federal public lands.

Firefighting resources worked in the air and on the ground all day to stop the forward spread of the fire and begin to establish containment. Crews will continue to work thorughout the night constructing fire lines and extinguish remaining active areas of the fire.

The fire has been determined to be lightning-caused. A large thunder cell moved over the the area in the early morning hours, causing the Alabama Fire and at least one other small fire in the Bairs’ Creek area.
There is a current fire weather warning for the area with the added threat of additional thunderstorm activity.

Evacuations: Lifted, campgrounds are open.

Road Closures: Whitney Portal Road at Hogback and Movie Road at Hogback.

Cooperating and assisting agencies: Cal Fire, Inyo National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Olancha VFD, Big Pine VFD, Lone Pine VFD, Inyo County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol, LADWP.

UPDATE: Manzanar National Historic Site reopened on Sunday. The Visitor Center is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday through Monday, and the Block 14 exhibits are open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We look forward to seeing you!” Manzanar National Historic Site said on social media. “There are still active wildfires in the area, so please yield to all fire and emergency response vehicles.”

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