Yosemite National Park Fire Managers have rescheduled a prescribed burn in the Wawona area for Monday, April 15, 2013. The burn, originally scheduled for the beginning of April, was postponed because of wet conditions. Ignition of the burn is dependent on weather and moisture levels.
The burn area is located near the community of Wawona. The total prescribed burn area will include 150 acres. The prescribed area is at the optimal fuel moisture level to successfully complete the project. This will be the first prescribed burn of the 2013 fire season.
The prescribed fire is a collaborative effort between the National Park Service (NPS), CAL FIRE, and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The primary objective of the prescribed fire is to create defensible space for potential catastrophic wildfire that may approach the community of Wawona. Further, the burn will help to reduce forest fuels in and around the Wawona area and help with forest ecology. A combination of fuel reduction techniques have previously been utilized in the targeted area, including mechanical thinning, pile burning and prescribed burning. The use of these techniques, in conjunction with previous natural fire events, including the 2007 lightning caused Jack Fire, will further reduce the likelihood of catastrophic fire in the area.
The burn will take approximately two weeks to complete. Smoke from the fire may be visible throughout the park, but may be more evident in the southern portion of the park along the Highway 41 corridor and near the communities of Wawona, Fish Camp and Yosemite West. A smoke management plan has been submitted to the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District, and a burn permit has been issued. A smoke monitor will be placed in Wawona to monitor Yosemite's air quality once the burn has been ignited.
For more information on this specific prescribed burn, or the fire program, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm.