Fire Update September 3rd, 2017

September 03, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Fire Information
There are multiple fires burning in Yosemite National Park's wilderness A high pressure system remains in place with higher temperatures and increased cloud cover which will limit smoke dispersion.  Thunderstorms are possible this afternoon into the early evening. Thunderstorms produce gusty and erratic winds.

The Railroad fire is 5,800 acres and 15% contained with a total of 823 personnel working on the fire. There will be a community meeting for employees and residents at 5 P.M. this evening in Wawona at the Wawona Community Center as it pertains to the Mariposa Grove. This fire is burning on the Sierra National Forest just south of Yosemite National Park .  For the most up-to-date information visit inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5553/

There are no new maps for any of the fires. 

South Fork
Discovered: 8/13/17                           
Location: N 37°32 '15" x W 119° 35'54"
Size: 7,200 acres        Cause: Unknown        Containment: 47%      Fuels: Mixed conifer and red fir         
The majority of the fire was quiet yesterday. Fire is holding on the flanks near the community of Wawona and remains quiet. The most activity yesterday was on the southeastern edge where fire continued to back and flank down to the South Fork of the Merced through scattered pockets of heavy fuel, there were a couple spots picked up on the southeast edge across the river. Thunderstorms are predicted this afternoon as well as high temperatures.  Thunderstorms produce gusty and erratic winds.
 Fire crews are utilizing natural features, handline, and small scale burning to contain fire spread to the north along Chilnualna Creek. Patrols continue along portions of the fire closest to Wawona.  Bucket work will be continued on the southern boundary of the fire. Crews were inserted yesterday to secure active edges of spot fires with hose lays and hand line. This area is incredibly steep and rugged. Sections of the north flank and the entire east flank are continuing to burn in the wilderness, and will be monitored by aircraft. 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 minimal 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: 4,750 acres        Cause: Lightning         Containment: 55%      Fuels: Red fir             
 Fire activity was minimal yesterday.  The primary focus for operations is assessing the possibility of opening up Glacier Point Road and holding the south flank of the fire.  Weather forecast for today predicts possible thunderstorms over the wildfire location, which could bring gusty and erratic winds. A cooling trend with increased relative humidity is expected over the next 24 to 48 hours.
 
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. The north, 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 unburnt 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. Fire camp at Bridalveil Camp Ground, was relocated to Yosemite Ski and Snowboard area due to prolong smoke exposure to the fire fighters and camp ground host.
 
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.

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                   
 
Activity has picked up and smoke will be visible from high elevation viewpoints.
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                   
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                   
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                   
 
Air Quality: A tropical moisture is now in place, so clouds could prevent the late afternoon/evening clearing near the fire, so 'very unhealthy' is possible near the Railroad fire. On the other hand fire activity should go down with more humidity and less sun. Split the difference and call for 'very unhealthy' conditions close to the fires today, but back to 'unhealthy' tomorrow for Wawona and Oakhurst. 
 

Last updated: September 3, 2017

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Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

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