Over the course of the week Yosemite experienced thunderstorms, with some park locations receiving measurable, sub- tropical moisture with the monsoonal air flow. The park helicopter will continue reconnaissance flights and all new fires found will be put out. Park fire resources, Engines 33, and 32, have returned from off park fire assignments in Northern California.
New fires - Lightning caused:
Ostrander: (37 37.801 x 119 34.420, 7,800' El. Mariposa Co., 8.17.12). This fire was discovered by reconnaissance flight and is north/northwest of Ostrander Lake in designated Wilderness. It is approximately 20' x 20', smoldering in brush, down and dead logs and other vegetation. Fire crews are hiking out and will put the fire out.
Turner: (37 35.733 x 119 35.741, 7,800' El. Mariposa Co., 8.17.12). The fire was reported by Signal Peak Fire Lookout, in the early evening as smoke at the top of Turner Ridge, between Deer Camp and Chilnualna Falls. A reconnaissance flight by Helicopter 551 confirmed the fire and the decision was made to put this 2 acre fire out 8.18.12.
Cold: (37 55.038 x 119 24.949; 8,200' El., Tuolumne Co., 8.14.12). This fire was found by a hiker near the Glen Aulin trail in Tuolumne Meadows. A single tree was struck. Although in designated wilderness, this fire was put out and is in patrol status.
Coyote: (37 49.288 x 119 33.266, 8,500 El., Mariposa Co., 8.13.12). This fire area, in Wilderness, has experienced numerous lightning fires. A single tree was struck, resulting in a small, .10 acre, surface fire. Firefighters put this fire out and it is in patrol status.
Grizzly: (37 43.731 x 119 32.643; 5,500' El., Mariposa Co. 8.12.12) this fire was found by hikers and backcountry rangers. The fire was near the top of Vernal Falls and was visible to visitors at Washburn Point and hikers. Firefighters, with the assistance of the park helicopter bucket drops of water, put this fire out. It will be patrolled.
Cascade: (37 46.173 x 119 40.519; 7800'El., Mariposa Co., 6.15.12) The fire continues to show low fire activity, slow spread and light smoke production. It is approximately 750 acres. It will be continually staffed with firefighters through the foreseeable future. Firefighters took action to install a light handline between granite ridges to limit fire spread to the south and southwest. The line will also hold the fire from moving into denser fields of brush and tree stands and help limit smoke production. Sub-tropical moisture has reduced fire activity and spread. Air quality has remained in the good range. The park's webcam, located at Crane Flat Helibase, will capture fire images, which can be viewed at: http://ssgic.cr.usgs.gov/dashboards/WebCam.htm?