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Fairview Fire: Nine Homes Destroyed, Four Others Damaged

At 2:45 p.m. Friday, July 8, 2022, the Bishop Fire Department was dispatched to Fairview Circle for a structure fire. When the first unit arrived at the scene, three structures were already fully engulfed, with fire rapidly spreading into the nearby brush and neighboring residences due to windy, dry conditions.

Seeing the magnitude of the incident, Bishop Fire requested mutual aid from throughout the region. Southern California Edison cut electricity to the surrounding area, and CalFire immediately directed their units towards the spreading vegetation fire to protect nearby neighborhoods.

Friday’s high winds, along with narrow access areas, propane tank involvement, and a lack of nearby fire hydrants severely hampered firefighting efforts. Firefighters were forced to withdraw from Fairview Circle and had to fight the fire from Watterson Road. Seventeen water tenders made multiple trips to draft sites and fire hydrants to provide enough water to suppress the blaze.

Tumbleweed Lane and Indian Creek Drive were evacuated as the fire spread. These evacuation orders were lifted later in the evening once forward progression of the fire was stopped. The Watterson Road area remained evacuated until mid-afternoon on Saturday as fire crews continued mop-up efforts. Firefighting resources remained at the scene throughout the night Friday, all day Saturday, and continue to patrol the area as needed.

Nine residences and approximately 20 outbuildings were destroyed in the fire. Four additional residences were damaged. The cause of the incident remains under investigation, and is believed to be accidental in nature.

One firefighter suffered smoke inhalation during the Fairview incident. The firefighter was transported to Northern Inyo Hospital by Symons Emergency Services and was released later Friday night after treatment. One civilian was injured.

“Our hearts go out to everyone who lost their homes and were displaced by this fire,” said Bishop Fire Chief Joe Dell. “We are extremely grateful to everyone who stepped up to help fight this fire, and to everyone who continues to help those affected.”

The Bishop Fire Department would like to extend a huge thank-you to the numerous agencies that responded from throughout the Eastern Sierra to help fight the Fairview Fire, including Big Pine, Independence, Lone Pine, White Mountain, Chalfant Valley, June Lake, Antelope Valley, Wheeler Crest, Mammoth Lakes, Long Valley, CalFire and the Inyo National Forest. The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, Symons Emergency Services, Reach Air Medical Services, the Bishop Police Department, Inyo County Health and Human Services, Mountain Warfare Training Center (Pickel Meadows), the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Indian Creek Mutual Water Company, Bishop Public Works and the American Red Cross also provided assistance during and after the fire. Olancha Cartago was also part of the firefighting effort.

Additional thanks go to Two Brothers from Italy in Big Pine, who shut down their restaurant to make pizzas that they then donated to the firefighters, Vons of Bishop, which donated sandwiches, snacks and water, and the countless other groups and individuals who came forward to support the firefighting and recovery efforts.

If you have any further questions, please contact Chief Dell or Kristina Blüm Justice at (760) 873-5485.

(From Bishop Volunteer Fire Department)

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