Update on Managed Fires in Yosemite National Park (July 8, 2009)
Activity on the Grouse and Harden fires in Yosemite National Park has slowed significantly with the fires reaching the established boundaries that managers planned for the incidents. The Grouse Fire is three miles southwest of Yosemite Valley and north of Glacier Point Road. The Grouse Fire is 3,029 acres and 93 percent contained. The Harden Fire on the north side of the park, west of Harden Lake and northwest of White Wolf is currently 1,661 acres and 95 percent contained.
Preparations are in place to transition management of the fires from the South Central Sierra Type II Incident Management Team back to the local unit on July 9. “It was a great opportunity for our team to assist Yosemite National Park with the management of these fires,” said Allen Johnson, Incident Commander for the South Central Sierra team. “The park had a good plan in place when we arrived and we were able to provide the support they needed to continue to implement that plan safely and effectively.”
The fires continue to meet managers’ objectives for the incidents. The stated protection and resource objectives include restoring fire dependent forest systems, managing smoke production, reducing hazardous fuel accumulation, protecting wildlife habitat and preserving cultural and natural resources. Importantly, meeting the hazardous fuel accumulation objective will help prevent the chance for severe fire occurrence in the future.
Even though the fires are reaching the boundaries that managers set for the incidents and the percentage contained is increasing, the fires are not out yet. Fire activity will continue within the perimeters for some time.
On both fires, personnel will continue to reinforce and hold containment lines and patrol for lingering hot spots outside containment lines that could ignite.
Weather forecasters advise fire officials that several low pressure systems are heading toward the area mid-week, which may bring cooler temperatures and possible strong winds.
Travelers will continue to see smoke along the roads. For firefighter and driver safety, please use caution.
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 1,661 acres, with 95 percent containment burning mostly in brush and Red Fir. Little growth is expected.
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.