Shaver Lake visitors cope with smoke from Aspen Fire

July 26, 2013 4:53:59 PM PDT
A forest fire burning in the Sierra National Forest has consumed more than 4,000 acres and continues to create a lot of smoke in the Huntington Lake area.

The conditions have forced the evacuations of several campgrounds. Most of the evacuated campgrounds are on the Madera County side on the mountains near Mammoth Pool. Some campgrounds near Huntington Lake were evacuated, but that is because fire fighters need to use them for operational purposes.

From Shaver Lake, it is tough to tell where in the forest fire near Huntington Lake is burning. But the smoky haze and smell is a constant reminder of the fire burning in the Sierras.

Liz Burns' family comes to Shaver Lake every year for a family reunion. This year was the family's 24th reunion. The family played games and went in the water like they always do but said the smoke was annoying.

"The worst of it was Tuesday I think, my sister said it was burning her eyes and making her cough so we stayed indoors for a little bit," Burns said.

Out in the water plenty of boats, had to deal with lowered visibility due to the smoke, making boaters tread with care.

"Yesterday you couldn't even see that island over there from here so things can sneak up on you fast when you can't see very well," Dennis Dougan, a man visiting Shaver Lake said.

Camp Edison has gotten concerned calls, but they are still booked for the weekend.

"We assure them the fire is well away from us. The closest it is, is ten miles and it is burning away from us," Richard Bagely from Camp Edison said.

The smoke in Shaver Lake comes and goes. Norm Kato owns a deli and market near Shaver Lake. Kato has seen smoke all week but he has also seen steady business in both his shops.

"Normally during the day we get some wind and it cleans up pretty good so I think it'll be a good weekend anyway, overall," Kato said.

The Shaver Lake car show is still going on as planned this weekend. And the Billy Creek Museum in Huntington Lake is going forward with their Hometown Heroes tribute.

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