Empire Fire Update #34 September 9th, 2017

September 09, 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: 21
Size: 5,637 acres
Helicopters: 1
Containment: 55%
Cause: Lightning

Fire was active yesterday. Glacier Point Road is closed. Bridalveil Campground will remain closed. Very little change in temperatures and humidities through the weekend. Slight chance for afternoon/early evening showers and thunderstorms for the next several days. A slight warming trend will begin today.

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. Crews are completing preparing the Glacier Point Road to implement their plan for strategic burning operations that may take place on the GP road to minimize high fire behavior along the road. The north end of the fire is in monitor status, the, 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:
  • Turner Meadow Trail
  • Bridalveil Campground
  • Ostrander Trail
  • Bridalveil Trail
  • Alder Creek Trail
  • Mono Meadow Trail
  • Glacier Point Road

Continued overall improvement in air quality at most sites, despite poor dispersion, mostly because
Railroad fire emissions are decreasing. Southerly winds will likely switch to a more easterly direction tonight. This will likely clear the higher and mid-elevations of most smoke (possibly including Wawona, Yosemite Valley).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.

Last updated: September 9, 2017

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