Lightning Caused Fires Continue to Burn in Yosemite National Park (July 5, 2009)
While thousands of visitors came to experience the beauty of Yosemite National Park July 4, fire personnel continued to manage the Grouse and Harden fires in the Park. The Grouse Fire is three miles southwest of Yosemite Valley and north of Glacier Point Road. The Grouse Fire is 2,300 acres and 50 percent contained. The Harden Fire on the north side of the park, west of Harden Lake and northwest of White Wolf is currently 1,594 acres and 75 percent contained.
On the Grouse Fire, personnel are working to limit fire spread to an area east of the Wawona Road and north of Glacier Point Road. Due to fire activity near Wawona Road on Saturday, it was necessary to limit traffic to one lane during a part of the day to ensure safety for firefighters working on the road and for park visitors traveling the road. The day’s operations included conducting management ignitions and reinforcing containment lines to hold the fire within the established boundaries.
On the Harden Fire, personnel continue to strengthen containment lines. The fire has reached 95 percent of the anticipated acreage that managers planned for the incident. With the decrease in activity on the Harden Fire, resources will begin to be released from the assignment. “We are pleased with the results from this fire,” said Corky Conover, Harden Fire Incident Commander. “While it is not always possible to manage fires early in the season, this year’s conditions provided an opportunity to work with this fire within a defined area to meet many resource objectives.” These objectives include restoring fire dependent forest systems, managing smoke production, protecting wildlife habitat and preserving cultural and natural resources.
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.
Even though the percentage contained is increasing and the fires are reaching the boundaries that managers set for the incidents, the fires are not out yet. Fire activity will continue within the perimeter for some time.
Park officials continue to monitor smoke and work closely with Mariposa and Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control Districts to address air quality concerns. Managers have implemented actions on the Grouse Fire to meet incident objectives and minimize smoke impacts to the park and surrounding communities. Smoky conditions may exist late evening and early morning within the park, and in surrounding areas. To see air quality data, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm
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.
Park staff continues to monitor smoke and work closely with Mariposa and Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control Districts to address air quality concerns. Managers have implemented actions on the Grouse Fire to meet incident objectives and minimize smoke impacts to the park and surrounding communities. Smoky conditions may exist from time to time within the park, on roads and in surrounding areas. Residents and visitors are advised to take precautions to minimize smoke impacts to health. To see air quality data, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm
All park facilities remain open. Smoke is visible at many locations throughout the park. Please use caution while driving thru the park. For additional information, please call 209-375-9574 or visit the Inciweb at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1704 or http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1708
Did You Know?
Built to connect human developments on both sides of the South Fork Merced River, the Wawona Covered Bridge is one of few covered bridges in the region. Built in 1868 by Yosemite’s first guardian, Galen Clark, the Wawona Covered Bridge boasts state significance within transportation, entertainment, and recreation contexts.