South Fork Fire Update #20 September 2nd, 2017

September 02, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Fire Information
Start date: 8/13/17 2:30 p.m.      Size: 6,985 acres              Containment:  47%
Incident Personnel: 49               Cause: Unknown              Helicopters: 1
Fuels: Mixed conifer and red fir                             
Yesterday the northern and eastern flanks were active again as the fire burned into scattered pockets of heavy fuel, interior of containment lines. This fire behavior will continue as long as the warm dry weather pattern persists.  
Fire crews will be utilizing natural features, handlines and small scale burning to contain fire spread to the north along Chilnualna Creek, as well as continue to patrol for hotspots in the portions of the fire closest to Wawona.   Bucket work will be continued as needed on the southern boundary of the fire. 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 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 minimal values at risk.

The following trail and area closures are in place until further notice:
  • The Swinging Bridge Trail on both the north and south sides of the South Fork of the Merced River.
  • The Chilnualna Falls Trail from Wawona Trailhead to the top of Chilnualna Falls.
  • The two mile connecting trail heading north from the top of Chilnualna Falls to the intersection of the Buena Vista Trail.
  • The Chilnualna Creek Trail from the top of Chilnualna Falls east to the intersection of the Buena Vista and Buck Camp trails (Just east of Johnson Lake).
  • Turner Meadow Trail
  • Turner Meadow intersection east to Buena Vista trail
  • Off-trail areas in the vicinity of the South Fork Fire Area, including the swimming holes north of Chilnualna Creek.
  • All climbing routes on and around Wawona Dome are closed. 
Air quality will remain moderate to poor at times, especially closer to the fire and usually during the nighttime and morning hours, while a strong high pressure system sits over the area. 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 at night and monitor the air quality forecast for changes to the forecasted patterns and best times to plan outdoor activities.

Last updated: September 2, 2017

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