Crews Battle Wildfire in Inyo National Forest; Possible Downed Aircraft Reported in Area

Firefighters were responding to a blaze that ignited in Inyo National Forest after reports of a possible downed plane in the area on Wednesday, officials said.

Firefighters were responding to the Diaz Fire in the eastern Sierra Nevada on June 21, 2017. (Credit: U.S. Forest Service)

Multiple agencies were responding to the fire near Lone Pine in the eastern Sierra Nevada, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office reported at 1:48 p.m.

Reports of the downed aircraft were as yet unconfirmed.

The blaze, being dubbed the Diaz Fire, was burning near the Horseshoe Meadow camping area.

By around 3:30 p.m., the flames spread across a five-acre area at approximately 9,000 feet in elevation along the Sierra Nevada’s western slopes, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The fire was burning in steep, rugged terrain where foliage consisted mainly of mixed conifer and mountain mahogany, officials said.

No homes or individuals were threatened, although the flames could be seen from Highway 395.

Three fire engines and one crew had responded, along with other aerial resources, firefighters said.

The blaze was one of at least five wildfires burning Wednesday in California’s national forests, including the 1,200-acre Holcomb fire that had been burning three days in San Bernardino National Forest and the 1,550-acre Highway Fire that broke out four days ago in Sequoia National Forest.

The state was enduring a week-long heat wave, and fire danger was expected to grow Thursday with forecasters predicting intensified winds.