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Yosemite National Park Continues to Manage Meadow Fire

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avatar Yosemite National Park Continues to Manage Meadow Fire
July 17, 2004 12:58PM
<HTML>uly 16, 2004
For Immediate Release

Yosemite National Park Continues to Manage Meadow Fire

Yosemite National Park experienced widespread lightning activity over the week of June 27th. Currently, nine lightning-caused fires are burning in the park. One of these fires, the Meadow Fire, is just south of the Glacier Point Road near the Mono Meadow trailhead. It experienced sudden growth on Tuesday, July 13th. The fire is currently estimated at 3,000 acres.

The Meadow Fire is being managed as a fire use fire for resource benefit. Fire use projects are allowed to burn and spread naturally when they do not threaten people or property. A national fire use team is in the park to analyze this wilderness fire&#8217;s ecological benefits as well as evaluate predicted fire behavior and smoke impacts.

Fire is a natural ecological process that plays an important role in shaping and restoring the park's ecosystems. However, aggressive containment action will be taken on the northern flank of the fire to prevent its further spread toward the Glacier Point Road and the Yosemite Valley southern rim, and to reduce smoke in Yosemite Valley.

Visitors to the park should expect smoky conditions that may impact their experience in the park. Yosemite Valley, particularly in the night and morning, will see smoke that will impair views of the valley. Smoke in the valley should lift by the afternoon.

While Yosemite National Park remains open through all park entrances, there are several closures in effect. Every effort is being made to open roads and trails as soon as possible.

Roads
Glacier Point Road beyond Bridalveil Creek Campground

Trails
All trails in the Illilouette Creek basin from Buena Vista Lake and Merced Pass to the top of Nevada Fall.
Panorama Trail, between Glacier Point and Nevada Fall.
Four Mile Trail.
Pohono Trail between McGurk junction and Glacier Point.
The John Muir Trail beyond Nevada Fall.
All trails that access Half Dome, Little Yosemite Valley, and Clouds Rest.

Backcountry Campground
Little Yosemite Valley Backpacker&#8217;s Campground was evacuated Wednesday (7/14) as a precautionary measure. The closure of this campground will remain in effect until further notice.

Open trails include the Mist and John Muir trails from Yosemite Valley to the top of Nevada Fall, the Yosemite Falls trail and access to the High Sierra Camps from the Tioga Road.

Park visitors may consider areas in the park such as Tuolumne Meadows/Tioga Pass and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias /Wawona where smoke impacts are not so great.

Park fire resources are committed to this fire as well as four handcrews, a strike team of engines, a fire use team, and four helicopters from other agencies. Approximately 250 personnel are dedicated to the Meadow Fire.

Fire is an essential, natural process in the Sierra Nevada. Over the past century, fire suppression has altered historic fire cycles, leading to a dangerous build-up of vegetation in our wildlands. One way for Yosemite National Park to restore healthy conditions and protect communities from catastrophic fire is to take advantage of some natural fires.

Visitors should expect localized smoke. Visitors with respiratory conditions should avoid smoky areas and vigorous activity is not recommended where heavy smoke is present. The fire management team is attentive to the public&#8217;s concerns about smoke impacts to health, visibility, and experiencing the park. The team&#8217;s management of the fire considers reducing smoke impacts to the visitor.

-NPS-</HTML>

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