Prescribed Burn Scheduled in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park Fire Managers are planning a prescribed fire in the western portion of the park near Crane Flat early next week. Ignition of the prescribed fire is dependent on weather conditions. The total prescribed burn area will include 200 acres. Roadside thinning along the Big Oak Flat Road, as well as the ignition of several burn piles, has taken place over the last few years in preparation for this project. Fire engines, water tenders, and fire crews from Yosemite National Park and the U.S. Forest Service will be present during all fire activity. This will be the first prescribed fire of the 2010 fire season.
It is estimated that the burn will take approximately two to three days to complete. Temperatures over the scheduled burn dates are predicted to be in the mid-70’s.
Smoke from the burn may be visible throughout the park, but may be more evident in Foresta, El Portal and the Hodgdon Meadow area. There is a possibility of nighttime smoke impacts along the Big Oak Flat Road near the Crane Flat area.
The goal of this prescribed burn is to reduce fire fuels near the park boundary, the Rockefeller Grove of sugar pine trees, and structures located in the Crane Flat area. This will be the first prescribed fire in this specific location, however other areas near the proposed site have previously been burned.
Did You Know?
In Wawona and downstream, the South Fork Merced River provides habitat for a rare plant, the Sierra sweet bay (Myrica hartwegii). This special status shrub is found in only five Sierra Nevada counties. In Yosemite, it occurs exclusively on sand bars and river banks along the South Fork Merced River downstream from Wawona and on Big Creek.