Update: 9:00 a.m. 8/1/13 - The Aspen Fire has now grown to 16,204 acres and is 40 percent contained.
Update: 9:00 a.m. 7/31/13 - Fire officials say the Aspen Fire has now consumed 14,332 acres and is 35 percent contained.
Update: 5:30 p.m. 7/30/13 - Officials with the Valley Air District have issued a "health cautionary statement" for residents in all valley counties due to smoke from the Aspen Fire. From a press release issued by the district:
"Where conditions warrant, people with heart or lung disease should follow their doctors’ advice for dealing with episodes of particulate exposure. Additionally, older adults and children should avoid prolonged exposure or heavy exertion, depending on their local conditions."
Update 1:53 p.m. 7/30/13 - The National Weather Service in Sacramento says that smoke from the Aspen Fire has drifted as far north as the Sacramento Valley, and is visible in satellite imagery.
The Aspen Fire near Huntington Lake and Mammoth Pool Reservoir in the Sierra National Forest has grown to over 14,000 acres as of Tuesday morning, according to Forest Service officials.
Smoke from the Aspen Fire could be seen hanging over much of the Fresno Clovis area early Tuesday morning. The fire was sparked by lightning in rugged and steep terrain of the San Joaquin River Gorge on July 22nd.
Officials say the fire is just 25 percent contained. Over 1,600 firefighters are currently working on the blaze, which has thus far cost $8 million dollars to fight. Large attack aircraft, including a DC-10 based air tanker are being used to battle the blaze.
Some of the best reporting on the fire has come from Gina Clugston, the editor of the website Sierra News Online. On Monday, she published an extensive account of the work firefighters are doing on the front lines of this blaze as she traveled up Mammoth Pool Road in Madera County. She joined us on Valley Edition to share her observations and stories from residents and firefighters. She says one major concern is that the fire could cross onto the Madera County side of the San Joaquin River.
For the latest fire information visit: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3552/