Yosemite National Park Announces Beginning of 2012 Fire Season
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.
Did You Know?
The indigenous people of Yosemite Valley have used fire as a tool for thousands of years. Fire was used to encourage the growth of plants used for basket making and to promote the growth of the black oak--a sun loving species--and a staple food source for American Indians from this region.