• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

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  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

Prescribed Fire

Aerial view of prescribed fire in Yosemite Valley

Aerial view of a prescribed fire in Yosemite Valley

Prescribed Fire History Map: View four decades of Rx burns.



Prescribed fires are ignited by qualified park fire staff under certain pre-determined conditions. These fires are carefully managed to achieve public safety goals by protecting developed areas by clearing unsafe accumulations of dead and down wood as well as for ecological restoration.

A Prescription for Fire
A fire’s prescription is the window within which a fire may be ignited. These conditions maximize the ability to control the fire and minimize smoke in local communities. These fires are intentionally set to meet certain objectives and achieve specific goals. The timing and scheduling of these fires depends on a variety of factors, including fuel conditions, weather, air quality, and other events occurring in the park.

Prescribed fire helps reduce heavy fuel loads while simultaneously opening the conifer forest structure and maintaining the health of meadow habitats. Fire is also used to enhance native plant communities, cultural landscapes, and improve wildlife habitat. Another goal is to provide defensible space for communities and developed areas within and surrounding the park. Since the 1970s, park managers have been using prescribed fire and managed lightning fire to help reach these goals.

Did You Know?

ARC Students journaling near Hetch Hetchy

Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC) brings youth to Yosemite National Park each summer for a dynamic literacy and leadership immersion program. ARC works with students, boosting academic and leadership skills through a variety of programs, including a 40 day experience in Yosemite full of adventure and intensive learning.