Yosemite National Park Takes Fire Management Actions to Reduce Smoke
Fire managers in Yosemite National Park are making efforts to reduce smoke from multiple fires in the park.
The Boundary Fire is a human-caused fire caused by an escaped campfire. It is currently 536 acres and has been actively suppressed since it was detected. Full containment of this fire is expected this evening.
The Middle-T Fire is a lightning-ignited fire that was being managed for resource benefit. Fire managers monitored its behavior and when it grew past its checklines, it was converted to a suppression fire to limit smoke production. It is 540 acres.
Both of these fires are being managed by the Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team #2. With hand crews, helicopters, and air tankers, the goal is to suppress these fires as quickly as possible to reduce the smoke for visitors, residents, and gateway communities.
The Frog Complex is comprised of the Laurel Fire and the Frog Fire. They are lightning-ignited fires that are being managed for the ecological benefits that they bring to a fire-adapted ecosystem. These fires have grown together. This fire is removing accumulated fuels and increasing habitat diversity. The fire continues to spread to the northeast with good daily smoke dispersal. However, to reduce smoke production, the Laurel Fire is being held along Frog Creek and the mouth of Eleanor Creek. It is 3975 acres.
The Double Rock Fire was ignited by lightning and had remained inactive until yesterday. It is being suppressed because of the number of fires in the park and to mitigate smoke impacts. It is 6/10 of an acre. This fire is expected to be controlled by August 27th.
An additional fire was detected today. It is an escaped campfire and suppression actions are underway. The Indian Fire was found near the north rim of Yosemite Valley along Indian Creek. It is one-tenth of an acre.
Yosemite Chief Ranger Steve Shackelton maintains his invitation to elected officials to visit the park and personally inspect fire operations to best exchange information and residents’ concerns.
There are trail closures associated with these fires for public safety. For the Boundary Fire, the following trails to El Capitan are closed:
> The Old Big Oak Flat Road Trail from Tamarack Flat Campground east to Yosemite Creek Trail
> The Old Big Oak Flat Road trailhead at Foresta
> The Yosemite Creek Trail south of the Yosemite Creek Campground
> The Lukens Lake Trail south of Tioga Road
Visitors to park can still access Upper Yosemite Falls from Yosemite Valley.
Trail closures for the Middle T Fire are:
> The historic Great Sierra Wagon Road. The Harden Lake Trail has re-opened.
Trail closures for the Frog Complex are:
> The Laurel Lake basin. This closure includes the Miguel Meadow to Laurel Lake Trail
> The Beehive Meadow Trail above the Hetch Hetchy switchbacks to Lake Vernon
> The Lake Vernon trail to Laurel Lake
> The Moraine Ridge Trail to Paradise Junction
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.