The Aspen Fire continues to impact the Kaiser Wilderness Area and surrounding lands in the Sierra National Forest. Although the smoke has cleared and many fire fighters have moved on to other fires, crews continue to work on mop up and rehabilitation of fire lines.
Crews are making good progress, and forest managers plan to reopen some closed areas this weekend. Stump Springs Road and Sample Meadow Campground are expected to open Aug. 17. West Kaiser Campground remains closed. Trails within the eastern side of Kaiser Wilderness Area, open Saturday, including: Sample Meadow, Potter Pass Cutoff, and Badger Trail. All other trails within the Wilderness area remain closed.
Clean up and rehabilitation of fire lines promote rapid restoration of areas impacted by fire. Repair crews build water bars across fire lines, break up brush piles created by dozers, and cover exposed bare ground with natural mulch which prevents erosion and speeds recovery and naturalization of fire lines. Crews are also grading impacted dirt roads and ensuring that no trash or equipment is left behind.
Fire managers report that the fire did a good job of clearing underbrush and reducing fuel buildups. Fire is a natural part of the High Sierra ecosystem, and scientists expect the burned areas to recover quickly.