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Re: Motor Fire Update Monday August 29, 2011 1750 hours

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avatar Motor Fire Update
August 28, 2011 11:34AM
Community Update Sunday August 28, 2011 1100 hours

Current Fire Conditions

The fire is still active and has grown to 4,626 acres and is 35% contained along the south and western portions. The most active portion of the fire is the N and NE corner, near Moss Creek. Fire behavior picks up each day in the afternoon hours. Residents may see increased fire activity and smoke columns indicating that increased activity. This is typically during the hours of 1 and 5 p.m.

As a contingency measure, crews are securing and reopening the existing dozer line above El Portal (Eagle Peak) and hand line into the canyon that serves to protect Foresta, the Crane Flat area, and Merced Grove

Community Updates

At the time of this update, Old El Portal continued to be under pre-evacuation notice and advised to prepare for potential evacuations. A reminder call was given today. If the decision to evacuate is made it will be coordinated by the Sheriff’s office and communicated directly to residents. Afternoon fire behavior today will likely influence this decision

At 5 p.m. Saturday, the sheriff's office ordered a mandatory evacuation for the government housing area in Rancheria and the trailer court. An evacuation center has been opened at the Red Cross Center/Luthern Church in Mariposa. An estimated time for re-entry has not been established.

All evacuated employees are granted administrative leave while evacuated. This mandatory evacuation order was placed because the fire recently moved into Moss Canyon. The evacuation will allow fire crews and air operations to work in this drainage and attempt to keep the fire from moving east.

Mariposa County Public Health Department and Air Pollution Control District (APCD) has issued a health alert for people living in areas affected by smoke from the fires. Everyone, but especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, and children should their limit time spent outdoors and limit any prolonged or heavy exertion and exercise when smoke is present. Click on the link for further information: http://www.mariposacounty.org/index.aspx?NID=89

Highway 140 is closed from the Bug Hostel to El Portal Road. YARTS is not running service. There is still a tentative plan to convoy commuting employees out of the park today at 6 p.m. Please check the employee hotline at 5 p.m. to confirm that this is still available. Depending on fire activity, it may be canceled. Please check the hotline this evening for information about tomorrow’s convoy as well.

El Portal work sites are still closed to non-essential personnel. For possible school closures and notifications of such will be handled through the school districts. There will be information officers in the community today to answer community member’s questions.

There is no current apparent threat to commercial power. The Town Hall Meeting and hike to Glen Aulin that was scheduled for Monday, August 29 has been postponed. Please check the NPS/community hotline each day to determine your work status. The message is updated each day at 7 p.m.

For more information:
Employee/community Hotline: 209-379-1186
Fire Information: 209-372-0327 and 209-372-0329

Note: these numbers have been updated from previous postings.

http://inciweb.org/incident/2520/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/28/2011 11:48AM by eeek.
avatar Re: Motor Fire Update
August 28, 2011 12:26PM
There was a lot of smoke near Gin Flat area.

Took this photo yesterday. Thought it was interesting...





Picasa Pictures
avatar Re: Motor Fire Update
August 28, 2011 03:10PM
From the way it looks to me; the rising column of hot air, not smoke, caused moisture in the air to condense creating a cloud on top of the smoke.
avatar Motor Fire Update Sunday August 28, 2011 1800 hours
August 28, 2011 06:31PM
Community Update Sunday August 28, 2011 1800 hours

Current Fire Conditions:
  • The fire is still active and has grown to 4,626 acres and is 35% contained along the south and western portions.
  • The most active portion of the fire is the N and NE corner, near Moss Creek.
  • Fire behavior picks up each day in the afternoon hours. Residents may see increased fire activity and smoke columns indicating that increased activity. This is typically during the hours of 1 and 5 p.m.
  • Crews are securing and reopening the existing dozer line above El Portal (Eagle Peak) and hand line into the canyon that serves to protect Foresta, the Crane Flat area, and Merced Grove
Community Updates
  • For all evacuated residents, the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office has set up a Red Cross contact to help individuals find a place to stay. Contact Katrina at 559-455-1000 x115 or 559-790-7625 (mobile)
  • At the time of this update, Old El Portal continued to be under pre-evacuation notice and advised to prepare for potential evacuations. If the decision to evacuate is made it will be coordinated by the Sheriff’s office and communicated directly to residents.
  • The mandatory evacuation for the government housing area in Rancheria and the trailer court is still in place. An estimated time for re-entry has not been established. All evacuated employees are granted administrative leave while evacuated.
  • Mariposa County Public Health Department and Air Pollution Control District (APCD) has issued a health alert for people living in areas affected by smoke from the fires. Everyone, but especially people with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, and children should their limit time spent outdoors and limit any prolonged or heavy exertion and exercise when smoke is present. Click on the link for further information: http://www.mariposacounty.org/index.aspx?NID=89
  • Highway 140 is closed from the Bug Hostel to El Portal Road. There is a plan to convoy commuting employees inbound at 7am and outbound at 6 p.m. Please check the employee hotline to confirm that this is available. Depending on fire activity, it may be canceled.
  • El Portal work sites are still closed to non-essential personnel.
  • For possible school closures and notifications of such will be handled through the school districts.
  • There is no current apparent threat to commercial power.
  • The Town Hall Meeting and hike to Glen Aulin that was scheduled for Monday, August 29 has been postponed.
  • Please check the NPS/community hotline each day to determine your work status. The message is updated each day at 7 p.m.
YARTS intends to provide modified service into and out of Yosemite Valley
via Hwy 41 through Wawona on Monday, August 29

Inbound
  • Mariposa Park and Ride 5:15 a.m. (the only stop it will make). The bus
    will go directly to Yosemite View Lodge (8:30 a.m.) in El Portal before
    proceeding to Yosemite Valley stops.
  • Run 5 on current Schedule (arrival times delayed due to route).
Outbound
  • Run 8 on current Schedule. Bus will leave Yosemite Valley and not service El Portal.
  • Run 12 on current Schedule. Bus will leave Yosemite Valley and not service El Portal.

For more information: Employee/community Hotline: 209-379-1186
Fire Information: 209-372-0327 and 209-372-0329

http://inciweb.org/incident/2520/
avatar “Motor Fire” – Sierra & Stanislaus National Forest’s Fire Update #6
August 29, 2011 11:14AM
“Motor Fire” – Sierra & Stanislaus National Forest’s Fire Update #6
Yosemite National Park is providing this information in cooperation with and support to the South Central Sierra Type II Team and the Sierra and Stanislaus National Forests.

Motor Fire (37.071 x 119 52.875; Sierra National Forest, Mariposa County): The Motor Fire began approximately 12:30 PM, August 25. It was started by a vehicle fire (recreational vehicle) on Hwy 140, along the Merced River and near Cedar Lodge. As of 1:30PM, August 28: The South Central Sierra Type II Team took over command of the fire at 18:00 on August 26. This team includes support and members from many agencies.

The fire moved into the Moss Creek drainage, prompting the evacuation of Rancheria Flat, August 27, 2011. The community of old EP Portal has been advised to be ready to evacuate.

- The fire has burned approximately 4,626 acres and is 35% contained.
- Approximately 849 firefighters are on scene.
- Air tankers and helicopters will continue to work the fire.
- This fire is terrain driven (very steep slopes) and has burned to the top of the ridges above the Merced River on both the south and north sides.
- Temperatures are very hot – 108 to 110 degrees in El Portal.
- The most active portion of the fire is to the north side of the Merced River on steep slopes.
- Crews in the El Portal area are utilizing old fire lines from previous fires (i.e. Woodlot, Big Meadow).
- Significant progress was made on containing the south side of the fire.

Evacuations and Road Closures: Rancheria Flat, Incline RD, Cedar Lodge and local campgrounds were evacuated. Old El Portal and Yosemite West are advised to prepare for evacuations. Residents should be prepared to leave with only a few minutes notice. Highway 140, from El Portal RD west to the Bug Hostel in Midpines is closed. This closure may fluctuate as the fire progresses. There is no estimation as to when Hwy 140 will re-open. Fire information officers are present in each of the most affected communites to provide the most current fire information. All interested apathies are receiving this fire update, including hotels, concessionareis, park partners and Gateway communities.

An Information center is open in Yosemite with fire information hotlines staffed and operational 24 hours: (209) 372-0327 or 372-0329. These lines are extremely busy, and please be patient. Please do not call fire dispatch.

The employee hotline is also being updated regularly: (209) 379-1186. More information can be found at: http://inciweb.org/incident/2520/. Turtleback web cam: http://ssgic.cr.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/camHist11.pl?camera=turtleback_2&lastFrame=true. Air Quality Information: http://www.mariposacounty.org/index.aspx?nid=89.
avatar Motor Fire Update Monday August 29, 2011 1750 hours
August 29, 2011 06:25PM
Community Update Monday August 29, 2011 1750 hours
This will be the final update related to the Motor Fire.

Current Fire Conditions

Fire crews made excellent progress on the Motor Fire yesterday and today. Although the fire is still active, the crews with air support were able to significantly reduce the intensity and risk to communities.

If you get a chance, thank a firefighter or an officer – these individuals have been working in intense heat, unforgiving terrain, and dangerous conditions for several days to ensure that our communities and parks/forests were protected from what could have become a catastrophic event.

Community Updates

At 9:00 p.m. on Monday, August 29, all evacuation and pre-evacuation orders for residents will be lifted. Evacuated residents may return to their homes. Please be aware that there will still be fire crews and equipment in the communities and on the roadways.

Highway 140 will reopen to all traffic tomorrow, Tuesday, August 30 at 6 a.m. for eastbound traffic and 6:45 a.m. for westbound traffic. Please exercise situational awareness as crews and fire equipment will still be present in the corridor and there may be rocks and debris on the roadway. The fire is still active, so do not be surprised by the presence of smoke.

All park facilities and offices, including the El Portal Administrative Complex will be open tomorrow. Employees should report to duty as typically scheduled. If you have a request for additional leave, you must contact your direct supervisor to make the request.

The El Portal School will be closed tomorrow and reopen on Wednesday, August 31.

The all employee celebration scheduled for Wednesday has been cancelled but will be rescheduled.


For more information: Employee/community Hotline: 209-379-1186
Fire Information: 209-372-0327 and 209-372-0329 (until 11 p.m. Monday)

http://inciweb.org/incident/2520/
Re: Motor Fire Update Monday August 29, 2011 1750 hours
August 29, 2011 07:15PM
Do you know if the houses at Incline, on the north side of the river, survived? They are very close to the point of origin for the fire...
Re: Motor Fire Update Monday August 29, 2011 1750 hours
August 29, 2011 07:24PM
Quote
wherever
Do you know if the houses at Incline, on the north side of the river, survived? They are very close to the point of origin for the fire...
Are those the ones that you use a cable car to cross the river to get to?
Re: Motor Fire Update Monday August 29, 2011 1750 hours
August 29, 2011 08:55PM
Quote
hotrod4x5
Quote
wherever
Do you know if the houses at Incline, on the north side of the river, survived? They are very close to the point of origin for the fire...
Are those the ones that you use a cable car to cross the river to get to?

No. You can drive or bike there from El Portal on the old road on the north side of the river. I suppose that road is on the old railroad bed. Incline is before you get to the gate that makes it a private road. It's across the river and a little bit upstream of the Indian Flat Campground. It makes a very suitable endpoint after biking down the scenic Forest Service road from Foresta....you just keep on going west after you hit El Portal.

There are still a bunch of houses there. My understanding is that it once serviced the old logging railroad inclines, which went up both sides of the canyon and brought lumber down to the Yosemite Railroad. The Trumbull Peak lookout tower is near the former top of that inclined railroad.
avatar Re: Motor Fire Update Monday August 29, 2011 1750 hours
August 30, 2011 07:22PM
Quote
wherever
No. You can drive or bike there from El Portal on the old road on the north side of the river. I suppose that road is on the old railroad bed. Incline is before you get to the gate that makes it a private road. It's across the river and a little bit upstream of the Indian Flat Campground. It makes a very suitable endpoint after biking down the scenic Forest Service road from Foresta....you just keep on going west after you hit El Portal.
He may have been talking about the big white building and a collection of outbuildings from the old limestone quarry, or the other ones at Ned's Gulch. You can drive to Ned's Gulch but the current occupant takes a cable car across. The other ones you have to take a cable across.

All those buildings are still there, untouched by the fire. No buildings were lost. The Trumbull Peak tower is fine.

Quote

There are still a bunch of houses there. My understanding is that it once serviced the old logging railroad inclines, which went up both sides of the canyon and brought lumber down to the Yosemite Railroad. The Trumbull Peak lookout tower is near the former top of that inclined railroad.
I'm pretty sure that was a mine, not a logging operation.
Re: Motor Fire Update Monday August 29, 2011 1750 hours
August 30, 2011 10:26PM
Quote
Dave
Quote

There are still a bunch of houses there. My understanding is that it once serviced the old logging railroad inclines, which went up both sides of the canyon and brought lumber down to the Yosemite Railroad. The Trumbull Peak lookout tower is near the former top of that inclined railroad.
I'm pretty sure that was a mine, not a logging operation.

Absolutely not. There were mines around, but not there.

The route of the north side incline is still visible on Google earth. It goes up to the right-side summit of Trumbull Peak. The hamlet of Incline is right at the base of the incline, along the river. There are photos of the whole operation.

It was interesting because it had several bends in it, lined with stationary wheels pressing against the cars there to steer them around the corner. The south side incline had them, too. An awful lot of huge sugar pines came down those things. There were shay railways, running along the ridges on either side of the river, that fed the inclined railways. They logged right up to the edge of the park, and in some cases well inside the modern boundaries.
Re: Motor Fire Update Monday August 29, 2011 1750 hours
August 31, 2011 01:41PM
The old incline had two bends in it, at the top and at the bottom, otherwise it was straight. The upper part of the incline is really steep, I would estimate greater than 50°. This winter/spring would be a great time to hike the old incline as a lot of the dense brush should be burnt away. The time I hiked it I literally had to crawl a few sections to get through all the thick brush. There is a large foundation at the top of the incline that housed the wheels needed to move the incline. You can see it from 140. Lots of cool history up there. FYI the south side incline is near El Portal proper, pretty much at the junction of 140 and El Portal Rd. You can see a big concrete foundation in the river there though the incline itself is hard to discern.

As for the mine, there is the 'Clearinghouse' below Trumbull peak. It is just above the river, an old white building and there are several prospects/mines indicated on the map. Not sure if the building itself was a mine or a trading post, but I have usually heard it referred to as a mine. The Clearinghouse was just across the river from ground zero of the fire, but is not at the base of the incline, that is about 2 miles distant. It is visible from the road but is in some trees so not as apparent as the buildings by the limestone quarry. The fire did not make it all the way to the limestone quarry so obviously those buildings are ok too. When I did my hike up the old incline, we hiked over to Trumbull peak afterwards and then down to the clearinghouse and walked the road back to our car.

That may have been the confusion, two white buildings at different locations. But the incline was definitely for logging, though there was a lot of mining in the area too.
Re: Motor Fire Update Monday August 29, 2011 1750 hours
August 29, 2011 08:35PM
I have no first hand knowledge, but http://yubanet.com/CAFires/Motor.php has always shown "Structures Lost" as being "0".
avatar Re: Motor Fire Update Monday August 29, 2011 1750 hours
August 30, 2011 07:24PM
Quote
druid
I have no first hand knowledge, but http://yubanet.com/CAFires/Motor.php has always shown "Structures Lost" as being "0".
Driving to, and from, work today along the highway I saw no burnt structures. Even the piles that used to be buildings at The Clearing House were fine.

Those guys did a damn fine job.
avatar Motor Fire Update 9/2/11
September 02, 2011 04:08PM
News Release for September 2, 2011 0800
Incident: Motor Fire Wildfire


For Immediate Release
Date: September 2, 2011
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Fire Update #19

Motor Fire
  • Location: Hwy 140 near Cedar Lodge
  • Acres burned: 5,231
  • Containment: 95%
  • Expected containment: 9/4/2011
  • Structures destroyed: 0
  • Injuries: 1
  • Total personnel assigned: 505
  • Cause: Vehicle fire
Summary

The Motor Fire started August 25, 2011 at approximately 12:30pm on Hwy 140, along the Merced River and near Cedar Lodge. This fire is located in very steep, rugged terrain making access difficult. The South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire on August 26, 2011.

Fire Update

The South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team will be transitioning the incident back to a Type 3 Incident Management Team effective 6:00 a.m. Friday September 2, 2011.

The new fire information phone number is: (209) 533-1140.

Crews continue to work toward full containment of the Motor Fire. Fire activity remains minimal allowing crews to continue fire line rehabilitation. A Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team will also be assigned to the incident to assess the fire area for needed rehabilitation. Burned area rehabilitation means to repair or improve lands damaged by the fire that are unlikely to recover on their own. The extent of repair will vary depending upon intended use of the forest after the fire. BAER Teams are intended to reduce further damage to land being temporarily exposed while in a fragile condition. For more information, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/biology/watershed/burnareas/.

This will be the last news release unless significant activity occurs.

Closures

Stanislaus Forest Road 1S12 is closed from Yosemite Park Boundary to Five Corners.

Contact: Fire Information: (209) 533-1140

For additional information visit: www.inciweb.org/incident/2520/
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