Empire Fire Update #27 September 2nd, 2017

September 02, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Fire Information
Location: 1 mile east of Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area and 3/4 mile south of Glacier Point Road
Discovery Date: July 31st, 2017
Incident Personnel: 45
Size: 4,550 acres
Helicopters: 1
Containment: 55%
Cause: Lightning

Fire activity was moderated yesterday due to shading from the Railroad fire smoke. The east flank showed increased activity yesterday with some spotting on the northeast near Ostrander Ski Trail. Weather forecast for today predicts hotter and dryer conditions through the end of the week and into early next week.

Fire crews are implementing a perimeter control strategy for the north, west, and southern flanks of the fire to protect Bridalveil Campground, Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area, Yosemite West subdivision, Wawona Road (Highway 41), and Glacier Point road. The north and west flanks of the fire are contained and holding. Crews tied the south flank into natural barriers and will continue to hold and monitor. Fire management personnel are implementing this strategy on three sides of the fire to minimize further smoke production inheavy fuels. Spot fires on the northeast flank near Ostrander Ski Trail are being monitored. The east flank is being allowed to move towards the Illilouette basin to continue to enhance forest resiliency in a fire adapted ecosystem. Fire camp at Bridalveil Camp Ground, was relocated to Yosemite Ski and Snowboard area due to prolong smoke exposure to the fire fighters and camp ground host.

Yosemite National Park has managed fire in this wilderness area for decades. This high country wilderness area is very steep and rugged with numerous natural barriers and minimal values at risk.

Glacier Point road is closed due to active fire near the road; conditions are being assessed as to when the road can be opened again. Additional crews and engines are on order to support these operations.
The following trail and area closures are in place until further notice:
• Glacier Point Road
• Bridalveil Campground
• Ostrander Trail
• Bridalveil Trail
• Alder Creek Trail
• Mono Meadow Trail
• Turner Meadow Trail

All closed trailheads and junctions will be posted with a trail closure order and map.

Air quality will remain moderate to poor at times, especially closer to the fire and usually during the nighttime and morning hours, while a strong high pressure system sits over the area. Fire Managers are working with the local Air Quality Districts and will be monitoring smoke impacts to the park and local communities. Community members who are sensitive to smoke may want to close their windows and doors at night and monitor the air quality forecast  below for changes to the forecasted patterns and best times to plan outdoor activities.

Last updated: September 2, 2017

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