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Yosemite National Park declares the beginning of fire season for the park on Monday, May 21st.
Starting at this time, backyard pile burning will no longer be allowed in any park community, including El Portal, Wawona, and Foresta.
The large woodyard piles managed by the National Park Service located at Hodgdon Meadows, Foresta, Yosemite Valley, El Portal, and Wawona may be periodically burned by the Fire Management Office. Residents are welcome to haul woody debris and vegetation to the community burn piles at Wawona, Hodgdon, Foresta, Valley and El Portal.
As of May 21st, Yosemite Fire Management will have four Type III Engines staffed seven days a week and the helicopter staffed seven days a week.
Yosemite National Park is anticipating a potentially long and severe fire season. Fire season and burning restrictions are being announced approximately a month early. This is due to an unusually dry and warm winter and spring. Snowpack from the May 1st snow survey was 29% of normal for the Tuolumne River drainage and 28% of normal for the Merced River drainage.
Residents and visitors can take steps to prepare for this fire season. Residents should complete defensible space around their homes. This helps protect homes from fire and creates a safer environment for firefighters. Defensible space should be completed by June 10th.
Visitors to Yosemite National Park can help prevent unwanted fire. Each year campfires, cigarettes, and human carelessness cause unwanted fires in Yosemite. Build small campfires in established campfire rings, never leave a campfire unattended, and extinguish campfires completely.
Yosemite Fire staff is working to help make Yosemite a safe place to live, visit, and work during what may be a difficult fire season. Residents and visitors can also take steps to protect the park, their homes, and have an enjoyable visit to the park.