South Fork Fire Update #28 September 10th, 2017

September 10, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Fire Information
Start date: 8/13/17 2:30 p.m.
Size: 6,740 acres
Containment: 47%
Incident Personnel: 22
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 backing through scattered pockets of dense fuel, towards Johnson Creek. Showers and thunderstorms are possible each afternoon and evening through Tuesday, with a slight increase in temperature and lower relative humidities. Gusty and erratic winds are possible with any thunderstorm that develops.

The northern spot fire near Turner Meadow has burned into the main fire. There may be some burning well interior and visible smoke with increased winds due to the storms. 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. The fire will be monitored by aircraft and fire lookouts. 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.
Air quality continues to improve throughout the Yosemite area. Winds from a more easterly direction and potential rain from afternoon thunderstorms tonight should keep the remaining Railroad Fire emissions out of Yosemite. This wind direction also makes more direct impacts in El Portal, Wawona, and Yosemite West from the South Fork and Empire Fire possible, but likely transient and dependent on the day’s fire activity. 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 10, 2017

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