Fire Update August 31th, 2017

August 31, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Fire Information
There are multiple fires burning in Yosemite National Park's wilderness. Smoke will be present due to a high pressure system which brings higher temperatures and lower relative humidity.  Hot and dry weather will persist through the weekend and into early next week.

South Fork

Discovered: 8/13/17    Location: N 37°32 '15" x W 119° 35'54"
Size: 7,800 acres                                Cause: Unknown       
Fuels: Ponderosa Pine/White Fir            Strategy: Suppression            County: Mariposa
The north and east flanks were most active yesterday as it burned into scattered heavy pockets of fuel. The south and west flanks of the fire are contained, some smoke and glow at night will be visible from Wawona as logs and brush burn interior. Weather will continue to be hot and dry through the weekend and into early next week. Fire will continue to back and flank on the north and east flanks and become more active as this weather pattern persists.

Crews will continue to patrol and mop-up the flanks closest to the community of Wawona and Mariposa Grove. Containment strategy is to hold and secure handline from Chilnualna Creek south towards Wawona Dome.  Sections of the north flank and the entire east flank of the fire is continuing to burn in the wilderness, and will be monitored by aircraft due to inaccessible and steep terrain.  As fire burns into the high country wilderness it will burn actively through pockets of dense vegetation but will then slow down as it progresses into sparse vegetation and natural granite barriers limiting smoke production. This high country wilderness area has few high values at risk.

Area and trail closures are in place follow posted closure orders and maps.

Empire

Discovered: 8/1/17      LocationN 37° 38.673' x W 119° 37.096' at roughly 7300 feet elevation, 1 mile east of                                                     Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area and 3/4 mile south of Glacier Point Road
 
Size: 4,250 acres        Cause: Lightning         Spread Potential: Moderate
Fuels: Red fir              Strategy: Monitor        County: Mariposa
 
Yesterday fire activity was moderate with some interior single tree torching due to early morning precipitation.  The north and west flanks of the fire are contained and holding. The east flank showed little growth yesterday and was moderated with milder weather conditions. Weather forecast for today predicts hotter and dryer conditions through the end of the week and into early next week.
 
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. Firing operations were successful on the south flank yesterday; today crews will hold and patrol the south flank and continue direct line construction around spot fires on the northeast flank near Ostrander trail.
 
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 few high values at risk.
 
Glacier Point road is closed to the public due to fire fighter safety to conduct tree felling and vegetation clearance; conditions are being assessed as to when the road can be opened again. Additional crews and engines are on order to support these operations.

Starr King

Discovered: 8/2/17      Location: N 37° 42.965' x W 119° 29.588' at approximately 7800 feet elevation
Size: 32.4 acres             Cause: Lightning                     Spread Potential: Low/ Moderate
Fuels: Red fir/ Lodgepole        Strategy: Monitor                    County: Mariposa
 
Activity has picked up and smoke will be visible from Glacier Point, Washburn Point, and Sentinel Dome.

Yosemite Creek

Discovered: 8/3/17      Location: N 37° 50.414' x W 119° 38.088' at approximately 7,970 feet elevation
Size: .75 acres                        Cause: Lightning                     Spread Potential: Low
Fuels: Red fir              Strategy: Monitor                    County: Mariposa

Porcupine

Discovered: 8/2/17      Location: N 37° 49.336' x W 119° 34.720' at approximately 8154 feet elevation off Tioga road near Yosemite Creek Campground road, creeping and smoldering, burning in large logs which are creating smoke.  
Size: 2.2 acres                        Cause: Lightning                     Spread Potential: Low
Fuels: Lodgepole/Red fir         Strategy: Monitor                    County: Mariposa

Knob 91

Discovered: 8/4/17      Location 37° 52.185' x W 119° 35.217' at approximately 8980 feet elevation
Size: .39 acres                        Cause: Lightning                     Spread Potential: Low
Fuels: Timber litter      Strategy: Monitor                    County: Mariposa
 
 
Attached is the Central Sierra Smoke/AQ Outlook for Thursday August 31st.  Currently heavy smoke is sitting under an inversion through the Main and South Fork of the  Merced River drainages.
 

Last updated: August 31, 2017

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

Phone:

(209) 372-0200

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