Fire Update September 4th, 2017

September 04, 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 cooler temperatures today 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 9,790 acres and 23% contained with 800 personnel.  There was significant growth yesterday due to gusty thunderstorm outflow winds. For more information go to Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5553/

South Fork
Discovered: 8/13/17                           
Location: .75 miles east of the community of Wawona
Size: 6,804 acres        Cause: Unknown        Containment: 47%      Fuels: Mixed conifer and red fir
 Fire remains quiet near the community of Wawona. The most activity yesterday was on the east flank burning into the wilderness through scattered pockets of dense fuel. There was a decrease in fire acreage due to more accurate mapping. Thunderstorms are predicted this afternoon with slightly cooler temperatures and higher relative humidities.  Thunderstorms produce gusty and erratic winds.
 Crews held fire spread to the north along Chilnualna Creek yesterday and today will continue securing trail on the northern edge. Patrols continue along portions of the fire closest to Wawona. There may be some burning well interior and visible smoke with increased winds. Bucket work will be continued on the southern boundary of the fire. Both spot fires south of the South Fork of the Merced drainage were contained and cooled with hose lays. Sections of the north flank and the entire east flank are continuing to burn in the wilderness, and will be monitored by aircraft due to steep and rugged 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 minimal values at risk.
Area and trail closures are in place follow posted closure orders and maps.

Empire
Discovered: 8/1/17     
Location1 mile east of Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area and 3/4 mile south of Glacier Point Road
Size: 4,914 acres        Cause: Lightning         Containment: 55%      Fuels: Red fir             
 
Fire activity was minimal yesterday.  Acreage has increased due to more accurate mapping.  Glacier Point Road is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, if favorable conditioned continue. Signage and traffic control will be in place to mitigate smoke and other hazards on the road; there is a potential for implementing temporary road closures or single lane convoys from Bridalveil Camp Ground to Mono Meadow trailhead depending. 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 unburned 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
 
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                   
 
Smoke may 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                   

 
A high pressure system remains in place with increased cloud cover form tropical moisture which limits smoke dispersion in the morning and afternoon. Air quality will remain poor close to the fire especially in valleys and drainages. 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. 
https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/2017/CentralSierraFires#Area2

Empire Starr King South Fork 9.4.2017

Last updated: September 4, 2017

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PO Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

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(209) 372-0200

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