South Fork Fire Update #27 September 9th, 2017

September 09, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Fire Information
Start date: 8/13/17 2:30 p.m.
Size: 6,640 acres
Containment: 47%
Incident Personnel: 30
Cause: Unknown
Helicopters: 1
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 and the south flank backing into the South Fork of the Merced. Very little change in temperatures and humidities through the weekend. Slight chance for afternoon/early evening showers and thunderstorms for the next several days. A slight warming trend will begin Sunday.

The northern spot fire near Turner Meadow has burned into the main fire and is now in monitor status. Patrols continue along portions of the fire closest to Wawona. There may be some burning well interior and visible smoke with increased winds due to the storms. Bucket work may be continued on the southern boundary of the fire. Both spot fires south of the South Fork of the Merced drainage were contained and secured with hose lays and handlines. 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.

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 including all climbing routes on Wawona Dome.
Continued overall improvement in air quality at most sites, despite poor dispersion, mostly because
Railroad fire emissions are decreasing. Southerly winds will likely switch to a more easterly direction tonight. This will likely clear the higher and mid-elevations of most smoke (possibly including Wawona, Yosemite Valley). 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 for changes to the forecasted patterns.

Last updated: September 9, 2017

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