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Wildfire Shuts Down Mount Whitney Access Points

A U.S. Forest Service truck sits in front of the 2,000-acre Georges Fire burning near the Whitney Portal area.

Authorities have evacuated Whitney Portal due to increased activity on the southern end of the Georges fire. The evacuation includes campgrounds, residents and the Whitney Portal store. Hikers exiting at Whitney Portal are being advised to contact shuttle services to leave the area, according to the Reno Gazette Journal.

The 2,000-acre wildfire in California has closed access to the Whitney Portal area of the Inyo National Forest, a popular camping spot and trailhead that serves as the gateway to Mt. Whitney.

Known officially as the Georges Fire, the blaze is zero percent contained and was caused by lighting.

The fire coincides during the peak season for hikers and climbers departing Whitney Portal, the most popular jumping off point for summiting Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states.

About 20,000 people attempt to summit Whitney from Whitney Portal annually, according to a report by the National Park Service.

No evacuation orders have yet been issued, but the national forest has notified campers and residents in the Whitney Portal area to be prepared for an evacuation.

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