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Yosemite National Park Fire Managers are planning a series of prescribed fires in the park. The prescribed burns would start in mid-October however they are dependent on weather and fuel conditions. Shorter days and cooler temperatures provide fire managers optimal prescribed burning conditions.
The Taft Toe project is the first of the scheduled prescribed fires. The project is located along Southside Drive between El Capitan Bridge and the Sentinel Beach picnic area. The total prescribed burn area will include 111 acres and is expected to last two to three days.
The primary objective of this prescribed burn is to reduce the amount of excessive fuel build-up. A combination of fuel reduction techniques, such as mechanical thinning, will occur prior to the scheduled prescribed burn. Fire is a natural part of the Sierra Nevada ecosystem and reducing fuel build-up helps ensure the longevity of mature trees and saplings.
Smoke from the fire may be visible in Yosemite Valley, Foresta, and the El Portal area. Smoke and potential health impacts are always a consideration in the decision to schedule prescribed fires. A smoke management plan has been submitted to the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District, and a burn permit will be issued prior to ignition. A smoke monitor will be placed in nearby communities to monitor smoke.
The other proposed projects will continue through the fall and into the winter. They include: The Mariposa Grove in October; Soupbowl near Wawona along the road in November and then interior in the winter; Ahwahnee Meadow in late October; Crane Flat in the winter; Yosemite West maintenance burning in November; and the Merced Grove area in the winter. Additional press releases will be distributed prior to the other proposed prescribed burns.
For more information on this specific prescribed burn, or Yosemite’s fire program, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm.