Marines Evacuate Mountain Warfare Training Center
A raging wildfire caused the evacuation of the Marine Mountain Warfare Training Center in northern California on Wednesday. It was just one of many fires that are devastating California, even closing I-5 in places.
The Marine Mountain Warfare center was ordered evacuated on Wednesday at around 1 p.m. by Col Kevin Hutchinson upon recommendation of the US Forest Service. The evacuation left the center accessible only to employees, according to the Mono County Sheriff’s Department.
The “Boot Fire,” as it is being called grew to over 6,000 acres since Wednesday. The Marine base near Bridgeport is only 20 miles from the Nevada border. It is only 3% contained at this time.
#BootFire between Walker & Sonora Junction causing major travel disruption. 108 now closed, meaning more traffic on 120, 4 & 88. Southbound 395 traffic from Sonora Junction will largely consist of many vehicles / personnel evacuating from Marine Mountain Warfare Training Center. https://t.co/2Uv84UPy2Z
— Paul Ashby (@paulashby) September 5, 2018
The snarl of road closures not just from the Boot Fire, but from all fires in California has created gridlock on the highways taking up the slack. CalTrans reported,“The southern end of the closure is at the north end of Bridgeport. The northern closure is at Eastside Lane south of Walker. Both towns of Bridgeport and Walker are accessible to travelers, with through traffic detoured into Smith Valley in Nevada. A soft closure has been set up in Nevada at the Holbrook junction, approximately 4 miles north of the California/Nevada state line, to assist travelers that are looking to detour around the closure.”
The Mono County Sheriff’s Office reiterated the mandatory evacuation for the Training Center as well as Fales Hot Springs, Devil’s Gate Pass and Swauger Creek as the fire continues to sweep through the area. The hot dry, windy conditions are feeding the flames, but the Sheriff’s office reported that they were able to knock some of it down overnight. Military personnel will be allowed back to the Leavitt Pack Station with ID, but the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training station remains under mandatory evacuation.
Featured photo of evacuated Marines via Leslie Chapman, the Mono County Administrative Officer.