Impact of Aspen FIre between MTR and Evolution Valley
- I'm very new to this group (in fact, my introduction was meeting Roleigh Martin in person at the Muir Trail Ranch just on Monday evening). However, since I was on the JMT between MTR and the upper Evolution Valley between last Saturday (7/27) and yesterday (7/31), John Ladd suggested that I report on the trail conditions due to the Aspen Fire (http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3552/).
As expected, the smoke conditions varied dramatically on a daily basis with wind direction. The worst day was last Saturday when we entered from Florence Lake, but conditions improved after an afternoon storm. In the Evolution Valley, we could smell smoke at times, but generally, enjoyed good views. On Monday morning, which had only light winds, we could see a smoke plume rising vertically from the Aspen Fire up to 15,000'+ before it encountered higher elevation winds.
Yesterday afternoon (7/31) the smoke seemed worse at the lower elevations east of Fresno, but I was surprised on a return flight to SLC to see smoke penetrating up to the highest elevations presumably (based on the flight vector) west of Mammoth.
The fire response is very organized with impressive logistics and updated information posted at all entrance points.
Salt Lake City, Utah USA