Lightning Caused Fires Continue to Burn in Yosemite National Park (July 4, 2009)
The Grouse and Harden fires continue to grow moderately in two areas of Yosemite National Park. The Grouse Fire is approximately 2160 acres, three miles southwest of Yosemite Valley and north of Glacier Point Road. The Harden Fire on the north side of the park, west of Harden Lake and northwest of White Wolf is currently 1120 acres. On Friday, the Central Sierra Type II Incident Management Team began managing the Grouse Fire.
“Everything is looking good and going smoothly,” said Allen Johnson, Incident Commander for the Central Sierra team.
On the Grouse Fire, personnel keep working to contain the fire west of the Wawona Road and south of Glacier Point Road. Friday’s operations included conducting management ignitions to reinforce containment lines along the south side of the fire off Glacier Point Rd., and on the north portion of the fire near Wawona Rd. The strategy is to hold the fire within the established boundaries.
On the Harden Fire, personnel continue to reinforce containment lines and contain spot fires. Moderate fire behavior was observed Friday with flame lengths of one to three feet, some isolated torching and short range spotting.
Personnel are working diligently to complete work on containment lines before there is a significant change in the weather early next week. Weather forecasters advise fire officials that several low pressure systems are heading toward the area, which may bring cooler temperatures and possible strong winds.
Travelers are advised of temporary road delays and closures, due to smoke and firefighters working along the Wawona Road and the Glacier Point Road. Travelers will see fire and smoke along the roads. For firefighter and driver safety, please use caution.
Trail closures have been implemented on the Harden Fire for public safety. The closures are the Smith Meadow to White Wolf and Aspen Valley to White Wolf. There is an alternate route to Pate Valley from White Wolf, which bypasses the Harden Lake area.
Wilderness Fire Unit:
Harden (37 53.624 x 119 42.221; 7800’, Tuolumne Co); Lightning-caused, probably on June 8. It is north of White Wolf, west of Harden Lake and within the 1996 Ackerson fire perimeter. It is 1120 acres, 30 percent contained and burning mostly in brush and Red Fir. There are 141personnel assigned to the Harden Fire.
There has been no additional fire spread or growth on the Indian Creek, Mono and Cottonwood fires.
Did You Know?
In Wawona and downstream, the South Fork Merced River provides habitat for a rare plant, the Sierra sweet bay (Myrica hartwegii). This special status shrub is found in only five Sierra Nevada counties. In Yosemite, it occurs exclusively on sand bars and river banks along the South Fork Merced River downstream from Wawona and on Big Creek.