Prescribed Fire Upcoming in Yosemite National Park
June 06, 2013
Update 6/17/2013: This fire has been postponed until further notice.
The primary objective of the prescribed fire is to reduce the accumulation of small diameter mixed conifer trees and reduce excessive dead and down woody debris. It will also reduce the amount of fuel build-up, which enables fire to reach the tops of mature trees and threaten mature black oak trees and saplings. A combination of fuel reduction techniques will occur prior to the scheduled fire, including mechanical thinning in order to create more open forest stands and recreate vistas that have long been overgrown by the dense forest.
Smoke from the fire may be visible throughout the park, but may be more evident in Yosemite Valley, Foresta, and the El Portal area. Smoke, affecting health, is always a consideration in the decision to schedule prescribed fires. A smoke management plan has been submitted to the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District, and a burn permit will be issued prior to ignition. A smoke monitor will be placed in nearby communities to monitor smoke.
Prescribed fires within Yosemite National Park help promote the long term health of the ecosystem. Fire is beneficial for trees, meadows, and wildlife habitat. Specifically, prescribed fires in Yosemite Valley restore vistas, increase the health and longevity of meadows, and reduce the possibility of unwanted wildfires.
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Did You Know?
In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.