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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 »

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

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    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.

Three Yosemite Valley Elementary School Children Given Bravery Awards

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Date: December 29, 2010

In a ceremony held at the Yosemite Valley Elementary School on December 17, 2010, three school children were given awards for Bravery for their part in a rockfall that occurred on October 5, 2010. Carmen Ortiz, Angel Ortiz, and Serra Weber were each presented with an award for Bravery by Yosemite Superintendent Don Neubacher at the ceremony at 6:00 p.m. in front of other students, teachers, and members of the community.

On October 5, 2010, Carmen, Angel, and Serra were playing at Church Bowl Picnic Area, near the Ahwahnee Meadow in Yosemite Valley, when a large rock fell from approximately 50 feet above the talus slope. The rock, estimated to weigh 4.5 tons (9,000 pounds) and measuring over eight feet wide and five feet long, fell onto Serra, pinning her beneath the rock. Carmen and Angel ran to the nearby Yosemite Medical Clinic and notified the medical staff. Serra was flown to a local hospital where she remained for several weeks. Serra, a resident of El Portal, has returned to school and is currently recovering at home.

“The quick thinking and action of these students was a tremendous help in getting Serra much needed medical attention. We want to recognize the bravery and quick action of these students. We are very proud of them,” said Yosemite Superintendent Don Neubacher.

Yosemite National Park recognizes Carmen, Angel, and Serra for their bravery and heroic efforts in the rockfall. 

Did You Know?

American Indians use traditional ignition methods on a prescribed fire project

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.