Shortly after Walker’s Mountain View Fire last week, the Inyo County Office of Education put out a call to all its schools, faculty, staff, parents, and school families, asking for a donation of gift cards for the victims of the fire.
“We wanted to get something in their hands before Thanksgiving,” said district Administrative Assistant Kristen Carr.
Reportedly, the Eastern Sierra Unified School District had four employees lose their homes and 12 families displaced.
On Tuesday, November 24, the district’s Barry Simpson handed over $4,080 in gift cards to the Eastern Sierra schools.
For generations, Smokey Bear has welcomed summer northbound HIghway 395 campers, hikers, and anglers to the High Sierra at the Smokey Bear Flats pullout just past the Mammoth exit.
Young ones today, and those adults that remember sitting in the back of dad’s station wagon long ago, heading to their favorite vacation spot or campsite are always overjoyed to see Smokey and his big Hello wave.
Smokey usually disappears over the winter to protect him from the elements. Smokey no longer needs to go into “hibernation.” The Inyo National Forest placed a new, strong, metal sculptured, piece of art Smokey on November 18. He will welcome us for generations to come! Year around!
If your favorite Nat’l Forest Service road or campground is not listed, it is already closed for the season (as of 11-19-20). All Visitor Centers and Ranger Stations are closed due to COVID, but answer the phone for assistance Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Mono Lake Ranger District:
Roads open: Bodie Rd. (Hwy 270), Lundy Lake Rd. ,Hwy 120 E (Benton), Hwy 158 (June Lake Loop).
No open campgrounds
Mammoth Ranger District
Roads open: Mammoth Scenic Loop.
Campgrounds open: Mammoth Mtn. RV Park.
White Mountain Ranger District
Roads open: McGee Creek Rd., Rock Creek Road to the pack station, Buttermilk Rd., Hwy 168 to Aspendell, South Lake Rd to Bishop Creek Lodge., White Mountain Rd., Silver Canyon Rd. (4×4-high clearance expect winter damage), Wyman Canyon Rd. (4×4-high clearance), Big Pine Canyon.
Campgrounds Open: Horton (BLM), Goodale (BLM), Pleasant Valley (County), Pleasant Valley Pit (BLM), Bitterbrush (winter ops), Baker Creek (County), Taboose Creek (County), Tinnemaha Creek (County).
Mt Whitney Ranger District
Roads open: Onion Valley, Whitney Portal Rd., Foothill Road, Division Creek, Horseshoe Meadow .
Campgrounds open: Independence Creek (county), Tuttle Creek (BLM), Lower Grays Meadow (winter ops), ), Lone Pine (winter ops), Boulder Creek RV Resort (private), Portuguese Joe (county), Diaz Lake (County).
(UPDATED 10:30 a.m. 11-2020) The Mono County Sheriff’s Office has reported that Sallie Joseph, 69, was the sole fatality in the Walker FIre. She was found in the rubble of her burned home.
170 People sheltered at the emergency evac. center at the Carson Valley Inn on Tuesday night. 127 remained on Wednesday night. The Mountain View Fire is the largest and most destructive fire in Mono County in recent memory. The State has proclaimed a state of emergency for Walker and surrounding areas, freeing up immediate assistance.
(UPDATED 8:30 a.m. 11-20-20) A visit by KIBS/KBOV News to Walker yesterday – 48 hours after the start of the devastating fire, held a good surprise, All of the businesses along Highway 395 survived, contrary to early reports and mapping of damaged properties, which showed a possible wholesale destruction.
However as many as 25% of the homes were burned and damaged – representing about 100 families. Power was still out into last evening throughout all of Walker into the evening. For a complete fire report, listen the “News of the Day” on our website for November 20.
A resource center for returning residents should open today in the Coleville School gym. Now comes the opportunity to help our neighbors in Walker.
What appears to be needed the most is cash to agencies, so they can provide cash, gift cards, food, and temporary housing for those affected. The Mammoth Chamber of Commerce/Community Foundation is serving as the recipient of donations for the Northern Mono County Chamber in Walker. Donate Here.
The BIshop Salvation Army has received requests for help. They have plenty of food to offer Walker residents, They’re seeking financial donations. 760-872-2124.
Inyo County Office of Education is asking all of its school families to provide gifts cards for gas, food, clothing, home improvement stores, etc. The gift cards will be given directly to Superintendent of Schools for Mono County, Stacey Adler, who reports that four of her staff members, and 12 families lost their homes in Walker.
The American Red Cross, who immediately set up the evac. center at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden, NV can always use contributions. Be sure to earmark donations fo rthe Mountain View Fire in Walker, CA.
Are you tired of staying home and ready for some FUN? The Drive-In and Tailgate Concert Series is up and running at the Tri-County Fairgrounds! You can now enjoy Movies, Live Music …all from the safety of your vehicle! Please visit TriCountyFair.com for a full schedule of events.
(As of 11:00 a.m. 11-18-20) Started yesterday around 2:30 p.m., a brush fire near Walker was blown by high winds up to 80 MPH, expanding to 5,000 acres overnight.
The Mono County Sheriff’s Office has called for mandatory evacuations for Coleville, Walker, and Topaz.
Highway 395 is closed in Bridgeport north to the state line. Detour route around the fire is Hwy. 182 northeast to NV Hwy 338.
The Red Cross has set up a temporary evac center at the Carson Valley Inn, 1627 Hwy. 395, in Minden, NV.
The Bishop Salvation Army has already received requests for help for fire evacuated residents. The organization has plenty of food to help out, but has request financial donations be made directly to 760-872-2124.
(Thank you to our media friends at CBS KPIX Ch. 5 in San Francisco for some of the first pictures of the scene. )
The Bishop Salvation Army stuffed an Eastern Sierra Transit bus with food and grocery donations last Saturday, It was their annual food drive to support families in Inyo and Mono Counties through the holidays.
The good folks of Bishop and two youth organizations brought 1,247 cans and food goods for the pantry. Six pallets of food were donated by Grocery Outlet.
KIBS/KBOV also hosted their 17th annual “Coats for Kids” receiving numerous donations of new or slightly used coats. The Salvation Army still needs coats for teenagers, sized XL and XXL. Drop off at the Salvation Army, 621 W. Line St.
With the closure of KMart in Bishop since last Christmas, Walmart has partnered with the Salvation Army to help BIshop resident purchase toys for those less fortunate. Go to: walmartangeltree.com and enter Bishop’s zip code 93514. One will see a registry list of what toys the Salvation Army needs. Walmart will ship the toys, free of charge, to the Bishop Salvation Army.
Reminder that a complete to-go Thanksgiving Dinner will be served at the Salvation Army offices on Turkey Day from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. No advance reservations needed.
Most of the Eastern Sierra high schools have provided KIBS/KBOV with their tentative schedules for a delayed and shortened football season, starting in January.
Keep in mind, of course, the schedule is still tentative, based on potential COVID restrictions. The Southern District of CIF is currently closed due to COVID concerns, and the Govenor may shut down numerous pubic social and academic activities.
Here’s the first few tentative scheduled match ups:
Jan. 22 vs. Burroughs HIgh, Ridgecrest
Feb. 5 vs. Rim of the World High, Lake Arrowhead
Feb. 13 @ Hanford West High , Hanford
Big PIne Warriors
Feb. 20 vs. Mammoth High
March 6 vs Lone Pine High
March 12 @ Trona HIgh
Lone Pine Golden Eagles
Jan 8 vs. Academy of Careers and Exploration, Helendale
Jan. 15 vs. Trona High
Jan. 22 vs Lancaster Baptist High
Mammoth Huskies, Owens Valley Cubs, Tonopah Muckers, and Lee Vining Tigers TBA
The KIBS/KBOV Sports Team will be meeting shortly to determine the “Games of the Week” with play-by-play broadcasts, live from the home team field.
(UPDATED 11-20-2000) Bodie Road – Highway 120 has re-opened.
Caltrans temporarily closed the road to Bodie State Park – Highway 270 – for the expected weather and snowfall over the November 7 weekend, along with three other Eastern Sierra highways; Tioga Pass Hwy. 120 into Yosemite NP, Sonora Pass Hwy. 108, and Monitor Pass Hwy. 89. Yosemite NP has also closed their portion of Hwy 120 thru Tuolumne Meadows into the valley floor.
They may not reopen this year, according to Caltrans officials. They will review upcoming weather this week to decide.
State Parks Rangers hunker down, still working in Bodie through the winter. At 8,379 feet, Bodie is unprotected from weather by terrain and often posts the lowest winter temperatures in California, and sometimes for the U.S.
(Photos: Courtesy of Morgan Wright, Sierra District, California State Parks)
The June Lake Loop and Convict Lake produced the final fatties of the 2020 Eastern Sierra Fishing Season. It was beautiful weather on Saturday and Sunday, November 14 & 15 – 55 degrees at Silver Lake and 70 degrees at Convict.
The Woodhall Family from Highland, CA were fishing at Gull Lake from the park shoreline, when son Aven caught a whopper rainbow – 6.24#. Dad and Aven disappeared, looking for a place to weigh it, when mom Megan’s pole hit while she was attending to their two-month old baby. A lady in the park came running to assist landing the 5.63 pounder.
Both fish will be sent to the taxidermy, as dad said he had been fishing the Loop since he was a kid, and never caught a fish that big.
Dustin Heinrich from Canyon Country also produced a biggie from Grant Lake – 5.5#
Convict Lake ended their one-month long Ambush at the Lake Derby with the close of the season. In the final week, numerous 5 – 9-pounders were pulled out, including two at 9# on Sunday., the final day. Derby winners of the $6,000 in cash and resort prizes, will be announced once all are notified by November 18.
(Photo courtesy of Jeremy Ross – Ernie Tackle, June Lake)