Empire Fire Update #29 September 4th, 2017

September 04, 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: 4,914 acres Helicopters: 1
Containment: 55%
Cause: Lightning

Fire activity was minimal yesterday. Acreage has increased due to more accurate mapping. Glacier Point Road is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, if favorable conditioned continue. Signage and traffic control will be in place to mitigate smoke and other hazards on the road; there is a potential for implementing temporary road closures or single lane convoys from Bridalveil Camp Ground to Mono Meadow trailhead depending. Weather forecast for today predicts possible thunderstorms over the wildfire location, which could bring gusty and erratic winds. A cooling trend with increased relative humidity is expected over the next 24 to 48 hours.

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, west and south flanks of the fire are contained and holding. Areas of new smoke may be seen as the fire cleans up areas of unburned fuel interior. Fire management personnel are implementing this strategy on three sides of the fire to minimize further smoke production in heavy fuels. The east flank is being allowed to move towards the Illilouette basin to continue to enhance forest resiliency in a fire adapted ecosystem
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.

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.
A high pressure system remains in place with increased cloud cover form tropical moisture which limits smoke dispersion in the morning and afternoon. Air quality will remain poor close to the fire especially in valleys and drainages. 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, limit outdoor activity, and monitor the air quality forecast  for changes to the forecasted patterns.

Empire, Starr King, South Fork Fire 9-4-2017

Last updated: September 4, 2017

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