Empire Fire Update - August 8, 2017

August 08, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Fire Information

Empire Fire

Location: N 37° 38' 40" x W 119° 37' 6" at approximately 7,300 feet elevation
Discovery Date: July 31, 2017
Size: 412 acres
Cause: Lightning
Smoky skies in Yosemite Valley on August 8The Empire Fire is in the wilderness and is being managed for both resource and protection objectives. It is approximately 1 mile south of the Bridalveil Creek Campground east of the Alder Creek drainage and west of  the Bridalveil Creek drainage burning in red fir. Fire behavior has been actively flanking and backing with some single and group tree torching. The fire has been burning in heavy pockets of dead and down timber reducing fuels build-up which increases forest resiliency. Projected fire growth is expected in the northeast and southeast flanks.  
The Empire Fire is in a fire-adapted wilderness area. Allowing fires to burn naturally can result in a healthier, more diverse ecosystem. Reducing fuel buildup minimizes the potential for future catastrophic fires. Although the current fire may have transient, moderate smoke impacts, more severe fires can cause unhealthy levels of smoke for extended periods, over a much wider area.

Trail Closure

The Alder Creek trail has been closed at the Bridalveil Creek Campground to the junction of the Deer Camp trail. Signs will be placed at the affected trails this morning. There are no threats to infrastructure at Bridalveil Creek Campground and the remainder of hiking trails in the area remain open at this time. Alder Creek, Deer Camp and Bridalveil Creek trails will continue to be assessed by fire crews. Future closures will be decided based on fire behavior. The fire will be visible from the high country and may be seen from multiple viewpoints in the immediate area off the Glacier Point Road.
Smoke will be seen in the fire area and may impact the Bridalveil Creek Campground. Fire Managers are working with the local Air Quality Districts and will continually 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 and continually monitor the attached air quality links.

Additional Information

Map showing Empire Fire on 8.8.17 and shows trail closure

Last updated: August 9, 2017

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