Photo courtesy USFS
The Marine Corps ordered an immediate evacuation of its mountain-warfare training center near the California-Nevada border as a nearby wildfire threatens the base.
Col. Kevin Hutchison, commanding officer of the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, ordered all personnel to evacuate the installation on Wednesday at 1 p.m. local time, according to a Marine Corps news release, Military News reports.
The order came at the recommendation of the U.S. Forest Service. The mountain-warfare training center is located northwest of Bridgeport, California, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains about 20 miles from the Nevada border.
The Boot Fire has burned about 4,620 acres in the area, according to Forest Service data. The fire has led to evacuations and road closures in the area, including sections of the Pacific Crest Trail and U.S. Highway 395.
US-395 CLOSED until 6 am 9/6/18 from the north end of the town of Bridgeport, to the south end of Coleville, and at the junction of US-395 and State Route 108 due to a wildfire. There is a possibility SR 108 will be closed if the fire continues in that direction.
— CHP Bridgeport (@ChpBridgeport) September 5, 2018
Boot Fire Evacuations and Closures: 9/5/2018
Boot Fire Wildfire
Announcements – 15 hrs. ago
Evacuations have expanded from the Bootleg, Chris Flat and Sonora Bridge Campgrounds to now include the Leavitt Meadows Pack Station and Campground, the Marine Warfare Training Center and the Devil’s Gate area. Mono County Sheriff’s Office is evacuating residents and campers from the Sonora Pass area spanning approximately four miles south to include the community of Devil’s Gate. Ranchers are asked to be prepared to move livestock out of the area south of US 395 and CA SR 108 in the event evacuations are necessary.
The Pacific Crest Trail is closed between CA SR 108 at Sonora Pass and Highway 4 at Ebbetts Pass as a result of the Donnell Fire. The Boot Fire does not currently impact this trail, but the closure does impact recreationists on the Bridgeport Ranger District. See details on the trail closure here: https://www.pcta.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Donnell-Fire-PCT-Closure-Orde-STF-16-2018-08_201808100850.pdf
Road closures now span US 395 beginning at Holbrook Junction (north of Topaz Lake) to Bridgeport, and CA SR 108 is closed from US 395 to the Tuolumne County line. Follow CalTrans District 9 for updates on road closures. Structures are threatened in the Burcham Flats area east of Walker Canyon, and Burcham Flats Road remains closed.
The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center conducts service-level MAGTF integrated exercises and supporting formal schools, develops warfighting doctrine, supports RDT&E for specialized equipment for use in mountain warfare operations, and maintains installation infrastructure and services in order to facilitate increased USMC readiness. Marines
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.