• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

Yosemite National Park Announces Beginning of 2012 Fire Season

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Date: May 22, 2012

Yosemite fire managers have announced the 2012 Fire Season began yesterday, Monday, May 21. Fire season officially begins when seasonal firefighting equipment and personnel are in place, prepared and ready to respond. Additionally, grasses and other vegetation at the lower elevations have begun to dry out. This year, vegetation is drying out faster than average due to the low snowpack the park received over the winter.

Firefighters will spend the week conducting their annual readiness reviews that demonstrate skills and proficiency for fighting fire. In addition, daily weather patterns, temperatures, and moisture levels are closely monitored, which aids in determining if vegetation is within prescription for burning.

In preparation for the fire season, the park has begun defensible space inspections throughout Yosemite's communities, including Aspen Valley, Hodgdon Meadows, Foresta, El Portal, Yosemite Valley, and Wawona. Residents and homeowners are urged to clear a defensible space around homes and other structures in an effort to reduce the risk of fire hazards.  

Yosemite National Park officials are committed to ensuring sufficient fire crews will be onsite during all prescribed burn activity throughout the fire season. These resources will monitor fire behavior and weather, as well as support burnout and holding operations to ensure firefighter safety, public safety, and to prevent prescribed fire escape. With the official declaration of fire season, pile burning will be discontinued until further notice.

For more information about fire in Yosemite National Park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/firemanagement.htm.

Did You Know?

Yosemite Museum

When it opened to the public on May 29, 1926, the Yosemite Museum became the first museum building in the national park system, and its educational objectives served as a model for parks nationwide. It still functions much as it was originally intended, and currently exhibits items which mainly reflect the Native occupation of Yosemite Valley and its surroundings. When in the park, you can visit with one of three cultural demonstrators who primarily staff the Museum.