Bell Fire

The Bell Fire was ignited during a thunderstorm that occurred days before it was first detected by firefighters on July 28.

A fire sparked by lightning more than two weeks ago east of Dodge Ridge in the Emigrant Wilderness had burned an estimated 10.5 acres as of Sunday evening, Stanislaus National Forest staff said.

The Bell Fire was ignited during a thunderstorm that occurred days before it was first detected by firefighters on July 28, Forest Service staff said. It’s burning on steep ground a half-mile north of Bear Lake and a quarter-mile south of a trail called Lake Valley.

On Saturday, the fire was estimated at eight acres burned. The fire was said to be zero percent contained and was smoldering in brush and trees between 8,000 and 9,000 feet elevation.

Fire behavior was described as calm with flames creeping slowly in ground fuels, understory plants, and downed, dead trees.

Smoke from the fire may be visible to day-hikers and backpackers in the Emigrant Wilderness.  The location of the fire is about a mile-and-a-half from Gianelli Trailhead and two miles east of Crabtree Trailhead.

Firefighters are using confine and contain strategy, trying to control the fire with indirect attack, at times burning out vegetation and fuel between the edge of the fire and control lines, Forest Service staff said.

No forest, road, or trail closures were in effect due to the Bell Fire.

Contact Guy McCarthy at gmccarthy@uniondemocrat.com or 770-0405. Follow him on Twitter at @GuyMcCarthy.

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