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The Grouse and Harden fires in Yosemite National Park continue to progress toward the management boundaries that managers have identified for the fires. The Grouse Fire (1163 acres), lightning-caused on May 30 and is located about three miles southwest of Yosemite Valley and north of Glacier Point Road. The Harden Fire (520 acres), started by lightning June 8, is on the north side of the park, west of Harden Lake and northwest of White Wolf.
When the fires started, fire officials assessed the opportunity to manage them over a period of time to achieve several objectives. The objectives include restoring fire dependent forest systems, managing smoke production, protecting wildlife habitat and preserving cultural and natural resources. In order to accomplish these objectives, a management area was defined where the fires would be allowed to spread. In addition, within these areas, management action points were identified where actions would be taken to slow, stop, redirect or enhance fire spread. The management area for Grouse is about 3,000 acres and approximately 1,600 acres are planned for Harden.
On Thursday, personnel will continue to take measures to achieve the objectives set out for the incidents. These actions include conducting management ignitions along Glacier Point Road, on the north side of the fire and within the interior as well as constructing, and reinforcing hand line to maintain fire within the determined boundaries. Helicopters will also be used to drop water on hot spots as necessary.
Travelers are advised of temporary road delays and closures, due to smoke and firefighters working along the Wawona Road and the Glacier Point Road. Travelers will see fire and smoke along the roads. For firefighter and driver safety, please use caution.
Trail closures have been implemented on the Harden Fire for public safety. The closures are the Smith Meadow to White Wolf and Aspen Valley to White Wolf. There is an alternate route to Pate Valley from White Wolf, which bypasses the Harden Lake area.
Park staff continues to monitor smoke and work closely with Mariposa and Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control Districts to address air quality concerns. Managers have implemented actions on the Grouse Fire to meet incident objectives and minimize smoke impacts to the park and surrounding communities. Smoky conditions may exist from time to time within the park, on roads and in surrounding areas. Residents and visitors are advised to take precautions to minimize smoke impacts to health. To see air quality data, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm
A strong high pressure will persist over the next few days with partly cloudy conditions, high temperatures and a chance of isolated thunderstorms.
All park facilities remain open. Smoke is visible at many locations throughout the park. Please use caution while driving thru the park.