South Fork Fire Update - August 19, 2017

August 19, 2017 Posted by: Yosemite Fire Information
Start date: 8/13/17 2:30 pm
Size: 2,903 acres
Containment: 10%
Cause: Unknown
Incident Personnel: 528
Fuels: Mixed conifer, oak and brush

Fire activity increased yesterday primarily due to downdraft winds from thunderstorms. The area east of Highway 41 on Forest Dr. and Chilnualna Falls Rd. is closed to visitors and guests. Permanent residents are advised to be ready to evacuate within 12-24 hours, however they should be ready to leave with shorter notice if conditions warrant.

There will be a community meeting at the Wawona Community Center at 6pm on Saturday August 19th. Air quality specialists will be present to answer questions from residents regarding smoke in the community.

Today, crews will work to contain the spot fires that occurred late yesterday afternoon and evening. Aircraft will assist ground crews when conditions warrant after the inversion lifts and smoke clears. Strategic objectives remain the same: utilize air and ground resources to hold the western and southern flanks while monitoring the northern and eastern edges. Minimal Impact Suppression Tactics are being used in the Yosemite Wilderness to manage the area of the fire, using natural barriers such as rocks or streams, trails, and other minimal disturbance methods to contain the fire.

Smoke will continue to affect the Wawona area, particularly in the evenings and mornings. Community members who are sensitive to smoke should consult their physician and may want remain indoors or leave the area in periods of heavy smoke. Residents can monitor the air quality links below for current information.

A chance of thunderstorms will be possible over the Sierra Nevada each afternoon and evening into early next week.

There are currently 528 personnel assigned to the fire: 13 hand crews, 7 helicopters, 11 engines, 3 air tankers.

A map illustrating the South Fork Fire, burning east of the community of Wawona.

For additional information:

  • Rapid Notify is a community alert system for rapid event notifications. Register by visiting or
  • Nixle is a public-safety notification system. Sign up for emergency alerts by texting 95389 to 888-777 orvisit their website at
  • Fire Information:
  • Yosemite National Park Fire Information website:
  • Facebook, search: Yosemite Fire and Aviation
  • Twitter, search @YosemiteFire :
  • Air Quality:

Last updated: August 19, 2017

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