Empire Fire Update #39 September 16th, 2017

September 16, 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: 30
Size: 6,256 acres
Helicopters: 1
Containment: 55%
Cause: Lightning

Fire activity was minimal yesterday due to cooler temperatures and cloud cover. Crews completed a chipping operation and burning fuel pockets along Glacier Point road between Ostrander and Mono Meadow Trailheads. Thinning operations were completed along the east side of Glacier Point Road from Mono Meadow Trailhead to one mile north towards Glacier Point.

Glacier Point Road was opened today. Please exercise caution and drive carefully as there may be heavy smoke impairing visibility from the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Park to the Mono Meadow Trailhead. No stopping will be permitted along this section of Glacier Point Road to ensure safety for both visitors and firefighters.

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 will be monitoring fire activity along Glacier Point road on the north flank of the fire near Mono Meadow. 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 interior unburned fuel. The east flank is being allowed to move towards the Illilouette Basin 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:
• Bridalveil Campground
• Ostrander Trail
• Bridalveil Trail
• Alder Creek Trail
• Mono Meadow Trail
• Turner Meadow Trail

Overall air quality will likely remain in the good/moderate range throughout the Yosemite area today and tomorrow. The pattern of localized morning smoke with afternoon clearing should continue in the canyons around the Empire and South Fork Fires. 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 16, 2017

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