• View of Half Dome and Washington Column in Yosemite Valley

    Yosemite

    National Park California

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Prescribed Fire Projects

Hodgdon Meadow Prescribed Burn - June 2012

Hodgdon Meadow (PW-04, Segments D & E) Area Prescribed Fire - Ignited on June 19 and completed on June 21, 2012.

Map of fire vicinity within the park
Map of burn units and their fire history

As of Thursday (June 21), ignition of the Hodgdon Meadow Prescribed Fire was completed. Thanks to the firefighters and fire managers who successfully accomplished this 234 acre prescribed fire! This was a difficult fire to manage with smoke impacts to the residents in the area and to park visitors who were camping at the nearby campground. We appreciate your tolerance, understanding, and support for prescribed fire. Treating this area with fire now adds significant protection against a large wildfire threat in the future.

For more information, email the Fire Information and Education Officer, or call 209/375-9574 or 209/372-0480.

 
Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire - Originally scheduled for May 15, 2012, this project has been postponed until a later date this fall or next spring.

Updated May 16, 2012
Project Area Map

The 846 acre Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire, that began on May 15, 2012, has been postponed. Fire officials cancelled the project due to concerns for safety to firefighters and the community, and an unsettled weather pattern. A high pressure ridge over the Sierra Nevada is projected for the weekend and may not have allowed enough time to complete the project.

This project is one of the most difficult prescribed fires units within the park due to very steep terrain, with a 2300' elevation gain. The decision to cancel the project weighed on adequate planning, evaluation of risk, fire ground situational awareness and availability of adequate resources. This decision process is taken on all fires and up to the minute before ignition begins. The intent of the risk analysis is to reduce the subjectivity in evaluating the suitability of completing every prescribed fire project safely.

Specific to the Wawona project, early drying of vegetation, inadequate resources and concerns by fire managers to hold the fire along fire lines led to the uncertainty of successfully mitigating an escape.

The extremely dry winter and early drying of vegetation, points out the importance of property owners to maintain defensible space and clearance of dead and down vegetation within 100 feet of their properties.

The Wawona NW project will be considered for a later date this fall or next spring.

For more information, email the Fire Information and Education Officer, or call 209/375-9574 or 209/372-0480.
 
Prescribed Burn Background: Prior to the exclusion of fire more than 100 years ago, fire was a natural process that played an integral role in shaping the landscape of Yosemite. Densities of shade tolerant tree species, such as white fir and incense cedar, and forest litter and duff have accumulated to unnatural and unaccepted levels in the absence of fire. Through the application of fire, a more natural vegetation composition can be achieved that would likely support a surface fire, but less likely to support crown fire. The goals and objectives for all prescribed burns conform to the park’s General Management Plan and Vegetation Management Plan.

Contacts: Call the Yosemite's Fire Information and Education Office at 209/372-0480 or 375-9574 and the Prescribed Fire and Fuels Office at 209/375-9576. Or, e-mail the fire information officer.

Did You Know?

American Indians use traditional ignition methods on a prescribed fire project

The indigenous people of Yosemite Valley have used fire as a tool for thousands of years. Fire was used to encourage the growth of plants used for basket making and to promote the growth of the black oak--a sun loving species--and a staple food source for American Indians from this region.