Empire Fire Update #36 September 11th, 2017

September 11, 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: 23
Size: 5,887 acres
Helicopters: 1
Containment: 55%
Cause: Lightning

Fire activity increased yesterday due to a strategic burning operation near Glacier Point Road between Ostrander Trailhead and Mono Meadow Trailhead. This activity will continue today to tie the northern flank of the fire to Glacier Point Road. Glacier Point Road remains closed until further notice due to fire operations. Showers and thunderstorms are possible this afternoon with a slight increase in temperatures and lower relative humidities. Gusty and erratic winds are possible with any thunderstorm that develops.

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. Today crews continue the strategic burning operations which will minimize high fire behavior along Glacier Point Road. The west and south flanks of the fire are contained, holding, and will continue to be monitored by aircraft and fire personnel. Areas of new smoke may be seen as the fire cleans up areas of unburned fuel interior. 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 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
Smoke will be moderate throughout the Yosemite area, except for Wawona, today as the Railroad fire winds down. Winds from a more southerly direction could bring light smoldering smoke north into Yosemite NP from the Railroad Fire, combining with smoke from South Fork and Empire Fires. These impacts will likely be moderate and mostly transient; dense smoke not expected. Dispersion will decrease slightly today and tomorrow, with possible thunderstorms this afternoon. 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 linked below for changes to the forecasted patterns.

For additional Information:
  • Fire Information: Yose_Fire_Info@nps.gov, (209) 379-1493
  • Yosemite National Park Fire Information website: http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm
  • Facebook: Search-- Yosemite Fire and Aviation: @YosemiteFire
  • Twitter: Search @YosemiteFire https://twitter.com/YosemiteFire
  • Air Quality and webcams: https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/aqmonitoring.htm
  • Daily Air Quality Forecast: https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/2017/CentralSierraFires#Area2
  • Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5475/

Last updated: September 11, 2017

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Phone:

(209) 372-0200

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