Early this morning at approximately 2:45am, the Sheriff’s Office was notified of a burglary at the Ranch Motel in Olancha and attempted theft of a vehicle from the Mobil Gas Station in Olancha.
The suspect broke into one of the rooms at the motel by kicking the door in, ransacking the room and stealing bedding. The suspect then attempted to steal a vehicle that was parked at the Olancha Mobil; however the vehicle was only able to be driven about 200 yards before it stopping running. The suspect then fled on foot northbound on Highway 395.
The Mobil was able to capture three photos on the security camera of the suspect. Based on the images we believe the suspect is a white male, around 5’8” with short dark hair with a potential bald spot on the back of his head. He is believed to be wearing a long sleeve green shirt and tan pants. If you have any information that may assist in the location of this suspect please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 760 878 0383.
HISTORY PROGRAM AND BOOK SIGNING AT THE EASTERN CALIFORNIA MUSEUM IN INDEPENDENCE
Posted by Seth Conners
“On Saturday February 25th, The Eastern California Museum in Independence will be hosting a history program and book signing event with local authors and Owens Valley residents David and Gayle Woodruff introducing their new Eastern Sierra history book; Tales Along El Camino Sierra. The Woodruffs have lived, worked and vacationed in the Eastern Sierra for over 50 years. They have compiled historical photographs and documents through extensive research, using a variety of educational and informational resources to publish their 3rd book on Eastern California history.
According to David Woodruff, El Camino Sierra was the name first given to the original Highway 395 in Inyo and Mono Counties. In 1910, intent on getting their share of the first state highway construction bond measure, members of the Inyo Good Roads Club coined the name El Camino Sierra as a marketing tool to help draw the attention of the state decision makers in Sacramento, to this lightly populated area of the state. Their tireless and effective promotional efforts even brought the first sitting governor of the State of California to the land of Inyo and Mono.
Three-ninety-five…this magical ribbon of blacktop has been taking people on a sentimental journey for over 100 years. Rarely does a roadway invoke such nostalgic memories as “The Mountain Highway”. Tales Along El Camino Sierra is a collection of little known stories involving people, places and events that have taken place over the years, in the beautiful lands of the Eastern Sierra. These engaging and often amusing narratives bring to life the area’s rich human history, that has not only helped shape the social and cultural fabric of this cherished region but has often created an enduring impact upon the human psyche as well.
The history program and book-signing event will be held on Saturday February 25th at the Eastern California Museum in Independence from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to the book signing, the Woodruff will have on display ephemera, photos and memorabilia from their personal collection. Light refreshments will also be served. For more information you can call 760 878-0258.
High winds in the Owens Valley wreaked havoc Monday night for traffic on the 395. Some time early Monday evening CHP reported, not one but, TWO big rigs blown over between Lone Pine and Olancha. The accidents were caused by winds that were reported to have been up to 75 miles per hour.
Drivers were caution by CHP to be extremely careful on the roads as high winds continued to be a problem in the early week. The winds were more dangerous today (Tuesday Jan, 3rd) north of Bishop. A high wind prohibition for large vehicles was issued, starting just North of Bishop and spanned all the way to the Nevada State Line near Lake Topaz.
Caltrans announces the completion of project near Mono Lake.
By Seth Conners
According to Florene Trainor at Caltrans, the Lee Vining Rockfall Safety Project which began two years ago was completed last week at a cost of $5.8 million dollars.
The project will improve safety for the traveling public by minimizing rocks falling from steep adjacent slopes onto US Highway 395 in Mono County, North of Lee Vining near Mono Lake. The project also includes a plant establishment program on the six slopes involved to reduce erosion, establish healthy soil, and promote successful revegetation.
Stage 1 construction was completed in 2015. Stage 2 construction encompassed the slopes with the installation of anchored wire mesh.
Also completed within the same area is the $2.2 million dollar emergency construction project that was put in place July 12, 2016 due to the Marina Fire that which started on June 24th and burned 654 acres. The emergency project repaired guardrail and installed a temporary rockfall fence.
The contractor for both projects was Papich Construction Co. Inc. from Pismo Beach California.
Fire crews are responding to the Wilson Fire. This new fire is north of Mono Lake, along the south of Highway 167 and three miles East of Highway 395.
The fire is 16 acres and is 5% contained at this time. Fire crews have constructed an initial fire line around the Wilson Fire. Crews will continue to strengthen the fire line today and will work towards a complete mop-up of the fire. Responders include U.S. Forest service, BLM, Mono City Fire Department, Lee Vining Fire Department, June Lake Fire Department, Mammoth Lakes Fire Department and CalFire.
Fire Managers advise travelers along Highway 167 to slow down near the fire area since crews will be working along the road corridor.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but it appears to be human made.
Wilson Fire, Cal Fire, Mono City Fire Department, June Lake Fire Department, Highway 395, BLM
High winds and lightning pose potential problem for firefighters.
by Seth Conners
Although they are not out of the woods yet the areas surrounding Lee Vining are beginning to see the light at the end of the Marina Fire tunnel. Acreage burned has remained at 654 acres since late sunday night and the fire is now 75 percent contained. However, thunderstorms in the area could produce dry lightning and outflow winds up to 50 miles per hour. This has firefighters worried because of the increased potential for new fires to flare up and spread rapidly.
As the containment line continues to increase unnecessary firefighting resources will be released accordingly. This demobilization process will allow equipment and personnel to return to their home units or reassigned to other fires.
The investigation to determine the exact cause and origin of the fire is ongoing.
Marina Fire, Lee Vining, U.S. Forest Service, Fire information, Fire Update, Highway 395
submitted by Deb Schweizer Public Affairs Officer, Inyo National Forest
February 2, 2016
Crews will be pile burning in two locations today. Firefighters hope to complete 17 acres of piles near the Double Eagle Resort in June Lake today.
Crews will also be burning near the Sherwin Creek Road and Sherwin Creek Campground in Mammoth Lakes in the next few days, where there are at total of 194 acres of piles. In addition to taking advantage of the recent snow to safely complete the much needed fuel reduction, the crews are also using the favorable forecast for good smoke dispersal. Expect to see smoke near both towns and from Hwy 395.
Cover Photo, Inyo National Forest file photo.
june lake california, mammoth lakes california, inyo national forest, highway 395
Fire crews plan to continue with pile burning today (Monday, January 11th) with a target of 30 acres. The piles are south of Smokey Bear Flat and immediately adjacent to the east side of Highway 395. Smoke will be visible to motorists along the highway in the area. Crews are taking advantage of the recent snow to tackle fuel reduction projects that they haven’t been able to safely burn during the previous drought years.
US Forest Service, Inyo National Forest, prescribed fire operations, smokey bear flat, highway 395, eastern sierra
Beginning Sunday, October 18, 2015, the Visitor Center at Manzanar National Historic Site will open at 10 a.m. and close at 4:30 p.m. People arriving between 9 and 10 a.m. can visit the exhibits in Block 14’s barracks and mess hall, as well as drive or walk the square-mile site to see Japanese rock gardens and other features. A restroom is available at the historic Manzanar cemetery on the west side of the site. As always, the site itself is open from dawn to dusk.
In prior years, Manzanar went to winter hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning Nov. 1. Current staffing levels have necessitated shorter hours for the Visitor Center, but visitors still have the opportunity to learn about the personal experiences of individuals, families, and communities incarcerated at Manzanar in the nearby barracks. Those exhibits feature extensive photos, documents, and quotes illustrating the challenges and changes people faced at Manzanar. Six audio stations and one video station feature a total of 42 oral history clips.
Exhibits in barracks 1 focus on the early days of Manzanar, when thousands of people arrived to an unfinished camp. Barracks 1 also includes a Block Manager’s office, featuring the papers of Block Manager Chokichi Nakano. Barracks 8 features an “improved” apartment with linoleum and wall board. A second room explores the Loyalty Questionnaire and its profound long-lasting impacts.
Manzanar National Historic Site is located at 5001 Hwy. 395, six miles south of Independence, California. Admission is free.
For further information, please call (760) 878-2194 ext. 3310, visit our website at www.nps.gov/manz, or explore their page at www.facebook.com/ManzanarNationalHistoricSite.
cover photo by Gary Young
manzanar historic site, owens valley history, highway 395
CHP investigating Wednesday Accident south of Ridgecrest
A 25-year old Lancaster man is dead after his 2014 Kia Optima crossed a double yellow line on Highway 395 Wednesday colliding with a northbound Ford F-350. The California Highway Patrol indicates the cause of the collision remains under investigation, however their accident reports shows that the Kia driver “drove across the painted solid double yellow lane lines (a no passing zone), into the northbound lane in an attempt to pass two passenger vehicles and a tractor trailer in the southbound lane.” The driver of the Kia, who’s identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, was pronounced dead at the scene. The 56-year old driver of the northbound 2013 F-350, and his 63-year old passenger (both of Bakersfield) were treated at the scene by medical personnel and transported by Liberty Ambulance to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.
The Wednesday afternoon collision occurred on highway 395 just south of Ridgecrest, approximately a mile and a half south of China Lake Boulevard.