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Yosemite National Park Remains Open (August 2011)

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Date: August 26, 2011

Motor Fire West of Highway 140 Entrance Continues to Burn

Yosemite National Park remains fully open and operational while a wildfire burns west of the park in Mariposa County. Although the Highway 140 entrance into the park is closed, Highways 120 and 41 remain open and all visitor services are available within the park. Additionally, the Tioga Road remains open for visitors entering the park via Highway 395.  

A wildfire, named the Motor Fire, was started yesterday when a motorhome caught fire on Highway 140 approximately 10 miles west of the Arch Rock Entrance. The fire quickly spread to both sides of the Merced River and burned through the river canyon. Initial attack on the fire began immediately.  

As of noon today, the fire is still in initial attack stage and has grown to approximately 3,000 acres. The fire is being managed by the Sierra National Forest and Stanislaus National Forest, with cooperation from the National Park Service, Mariposa County Sheriff's Office, Mariposa County Fire, the California Highway Patrol, CalFire, and several other agencies. Approximately 650 firefighters, air tankers, and helicopters are currently battling the fire. More resources are coming in throughout the day.  

Yosemite Valley remains relatively smoke free and visitors with reservations within the park are encouraged to keep their plans. Additionally, the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal is accessible through Yosemite Valley and out the Arch Rock Entrance Station.  

Highway 140 remains closed approximately 10 miles east of Mariposa to all incoming traffic. There is no estimated date or time for opening Highway 140 at this time.

Two fire information hotlines are staffed and operational 24 hours: 209-372-0327 and 209-372-0329. For updated information on the fire, please also visit: http://inciweb.org/incident/2520/

Did You Know?

Upper Merced Watershed

The Merced River above Nevada Fall and South Fork Merced River above Wawona, numerous small meadows and adjacent riparian habitats occur. Owing their existence to the river and its annual flooding, these habitats help support eight special status animal species: harlequin ducks, black swifts, bald eagles, osprey, willow flycatchers, yellow warbler, western red bat, and Sierra Nevada mountain beaver.