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  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

Prescribed Fire Scheduled in Yosemite National Park

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Date: May 11, 2012

First Burn of Season Scheduled for Northwest Wawona

Yosemite National Park Fire Managers are planning a prescribed fire in the northwest Wawona area in the southern portion of the park on Wednesday, May 16, 2012. The ignition of the burn is dependent on weather conditions. Favorable weather is expected throughout the week, which will allow for optimal smoke dispersion. The total prescribed fire area will include 846 acres and is estimated to take several days to one week to complete. This will be the first prescribed fire of the 2012 fire season.

The prescribed fire will take place in the vicinity of the 2007 lighting caused fire, known as the Jack Fire. The fire is designed to reduce hazardous fuels in the Wawona Wildland Urban Interface area. Burning this segment will form a barrier to the community of Wawona from the spread of unwanted wildfire approaching from Turner Ridge to the north and from the South Fork Merced River drainage to the northwest. This project ties together multiple and historical research, natural and prescribed fires, and mechanical thinning.  

Another objective for this project is to conduct ecosystem restoration by applying fire to landscape adapted to thrive in fire conditions. Fire is a natural process that plays an integral role in shaping the Yosemite landscape. Densities of shade tolerant tree species, such as white fir and incense cedar, and forest litter and duff have accumulated to unnatural levels in the absence of fire. Through the application of fire, a more natural vegetation composition on the forest floor can flourish.

Smoke from the fire may be visible throughout the park, but may be more evident in the Wawona area and the southern portion of the park. Additionally, fire equipment and fire crews will be present in the area of the fire and along roadways. Visitors and park employees are urged to drive slowly and with caution through the burn area.

Yosemite Fire Managers are working with Mariposa County and Tuolumne County, San Joaquin Valley, and Great Basin Air Pollution Control Districts (APCDs), in order to time the burn during the most favorable weather conditions that will facilitate good air quality and disperse smoke impacts. A burn permit has been issued to the park by the Mariposa County APCD and air quality measuring devices are beings staged in the surrounding communities.  

For more information on fire in Yosemite, please visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/rx-fire-projects.htm.

Did You Know?

American black bear

Black bears in Yosemite are active both day and night. Most bears that rely on natural food sources are active during the day. However, those that get food from people are often active at night, when they can quietly sneak around and grab unattended food. More...