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Lightning Caused Fires in Yosemite National Park Prompt Trail Closures

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Date: August 26, 2010

 Two lightning caused fires in the northern portion of Yosemite National Park continue to burn in the areas of Lake Vernon and Harden Lake. The fire in the Lake Vernon area, known as the Vernon Fire, has grown from 160 acres to 230 acres in the past two days. The fire in the Harden Lake area, known as the Slope Fire, continues to progress slowly and current acreage is at 688 acres.  

Moderate smoke from both fires is visible in the Hetch Hetchy area, as well as along the Tioga Road near the White Wolf area.  

All trails to Pate Valley from White Wolf have been closed due to fire activity related to the Slope Fire. Additionally, the trail from Tiltill Valley Trail Junction to Lake Vernon remains closed due to the fire activity of the Vernon Fire. Both trails will remain closed until further notice. The Tiltill Valley trail to Tiltill Mountain remains open.  

The Slope Fire and the Vernon Fire are both located in Yosemite Wilderness and pose no threat to park facilities. The fires are being managed by Yosemite Fire Crews for ecological benefits. Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem. It reduces dead vegetation, stimulates new growth, and improves habitat for wildlife.  

Cooperating agencies include San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control District.  

For more information on fire, please visit
http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/current_fire.htm or call 209-372-0480.

Did You Know?

Nevada and Vernal Falls

In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.