Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Yosemite Valley

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (92% of Full)


Advanced

Big Meadow Fire Update: 100% Contained

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

avatar Big Meadow Fire Update
August 29, 2009 02:41PM
Current Situation: Yesterday, firefighters made good progress constructing and improving fire lines east of El Portal. Strong down canyon winds last night did not affect fire suppression efforts. Today, the highest priority continues to be strengthening and improving firelines east of El Portal and structure protection in Foresta. Firefighters are aided by eight water dropping helicopters and six air tankers. Control difficulties continue to be hot weather, low humidity, and steep terrain.
avatar Big Meadow Fire Q & A #yosemite
August 29, 2009 04:28PM
A Note From Yosemite's Superintendent
Incident: Big Meadow Wildfire Wildfire

Big Meadow Fire Q & A

A community meeting was held in El Portal last evening with Yosemite National Park Acting Superintendent Dave Uberuaga and other Incident leaders. A number of important questions were asked by employees and residents. Following are four of the most frequently asked questions and answers:

Why did the National Park Service ignite the Big Meadow fire in August

The Big Meadow prescribed fire was initiated based upon a written and pre-determined "window" of very specific conditions (temperature, humidity, fuel type, wind speed, smoke dispersal, etc.). At the time of ignition all conditions were within this window. Prescribed fires may be done any month of the year depending upon the objectives of the burn.

Why couldn't the meadow be burned in much cooler conditions

The Park uses prescribed fire to accomplish specific objectives. In the case of the Big Meadow fire, those objectives were meadow restoration and the maintenance of fire resistant vegetation for the Foresta Community. For vegetation to burn it must be sufficiently dry and flammable to maintain a fire. The prescription for the Big Meadow burn was based upon these objectives.

What went wrong then

The development of the prescription window and its review and signoff are processes that agencies have carefully developed to minimize the risk of a fire escape. However, when dealing with all the complexities that can affect a fire, it is nearly impossible to reduce risk to zero. The National Park Service will conduct a careful review once the fire is extinguished.

Will someone be held accountable for the fire and the damage it has done

In the National Park Service, prescribed fires plans are reviewed and approved by multiple individuals and then authorized by the Superintendent or his/her representative. Any escaped prescribed fire requires a review once the fire is extinguished. The review will include independent, knowledgeable fire professionals and will produce findings. Based upon those findings, the agency may take further actions including those that might affect responsible officials.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Q & A #yosemite
September 01, 2009 04:35PM
Quote
eeek
In the National Park Service, prescribed fires plans are reviewed and approved by multiple individuals and then authorized by the Superintendent or his/her representative. Any escaped prescribed fire requires a review once the fire is extinguished. The review will include independent, knowledgeable fire professionals and will produce findings. Based upon those findings, the agency may take further actions including those that might affect responsible officials.

This is classic. It will be interesting to follow the story. hmmmmm, I wonder how things are going on Rat Island?



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Map #yosemite
August 31, 2009 12:41PM
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Map #yosemite
August 31, 2009 01:57PM
MODIS Detections August 31, 2009 1300 MDT
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
August 31, 2009 01:02PM
The fire continues to burn actively (a large column of smoke was visible yesterday) in the wilderness towards Tioga Road near Tamarack Flat and northwest in Upper Crane Creek drainage. Today, firefighters will continue to aggressively build indirect fire line away from the fires edge. The strategy is to use indirect fire line along with opportunities to conduct burnout operations (when conditions safely permit) to stop the forward progress of the fire. Firefighters will also continue to reinforce fire lines east of El Portal and around Foresta. No major fire activity was reported in these areas.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
August 31, 2009 01:52PM
The air quality cam is looking better today:

avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 01, 2009 04:06PM
There will be a community meeting at 6:30 this evening in Groveland at Tenaya Elementary School, 19177 Highway 120, to discuss updates on the Big Meadow Fire with fire officials.
Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 02, 2009 01:32AM
A portion of hwy 120 was closed early afternoon 8/31. People leaving the park from White Wolf were forced to head east. Sonora Pass Hwy 108 was a fun drive.
Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 02, 2009 11:18AM
This interview with Yosemite's acting superintendent is very interesting...

http://www.mymotherlode.com/news/local/491435/Yosemite-Acting-Superintendent-Questioned-On-Big-Meadow-Fire.html

I certainly hope that they do a serious review of their process. It is clearly broken. This is not the
first escaped prescribed burn in the area.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 02, 2009 12:26PM
They are now estimating containment on Thursday September 10th, 2009 approx 12:00 AM.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 02, 2009 12:27PM
Today firefighters will continue to work on containing the fire at Tamarack Flat Campground Road and Tioga Road using all available resources. When conditions are favorable firefighters will conduct burnout operations along Big Oak Flat and Tioga Roads. Firefighters continue to reinforce lines around Foresta and El Portal. No major fire activity is reported in these areas.
avatar Big Meadow Fire Progression Map
September 02, 2009 02:52PM
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 03, 2009 02:14PM
Firefighters made significant progress yesterday on the northwest flank of the fire near Crane Flat. Burning operations were successful in stopping the forward progress of the fire along Tioga Road and towards Crane Flat Campground. Today, firefighters will continue to construct and hold the line near Tamarack Flat Campground Road. On the southern end of the fire, efforts are underway to return roads, trails and fire lines to their natural condition.

A fire update meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm tonight (September 3rd) at Tenaya Elementary School, 19177 Hwy 120 in Groveland.

The Big Oak Flat Road is closed to through traffic at the Big Oak Flat Entrance Station to the junction of the El Portal Road. In addition, the Tioga Road is closed to through traffic from White Wolf to the Crane Flat Gas Station. All road closures will remain in effect through Labor Day Weekend. Hodgdon Meadow Campground remains accessible to visitors. Visitors on the east side of the park can still access Tuolumne Meadows, Olmsted Point, and White Wolf.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 04, 2009 02:49PM
Yesterday firefighters completed fireline near the Tamarack Flat Campground Road. Smoke conditions in Yosemite Valley, foothill communities and other areas of the park are improving significantly. Today firefighters will continue restoring trails and fireline to their natural condition, mopping up hot spots, and removing hazard trees in order to open the roads as soon as possible.

Although road closures will remain in place through the Labor Day weekend, Yosemite Valley is open and accessible from Highway 140 via El Portal and Highway 41 from Wawona. In addition, visitors on the east side of the park can still access Tuolumne Meadows, Olmsted Point, and White Wolf via Highway 395 from Lee Vining. Hodgdon Meadow Campground remains open to visitors.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 05, 2009 03:59PM
The strategy today is to continue to strengthen and hold the fireline near the Tamarack Flat Campground Road. Fire crews are working to remove hazard trees along the Big Oak Flat and Tioga Roads. There is minimal smoke in Yosemite Valley, foothill communities and other areas of the park.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 06, 2009 02:39PM
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 07, 2009 07:26AM
Quote
eeek


eeek,

It's really nice that the fire crews were accompanied by uplifting majestic music.

Jim
Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 06, 2009 09:34PM
Thanks Eeek, I'll check in before I drive out from SF Thursday am to be sure I can take 120 to Tioga and Cathedral Lakes TH.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 07, 2009 01:47AM
Quote
rroland
Thanks Eeek, I'll check in before I drive out from SF Thursday am to be sure I can take 120 to Tioga and Cathedral Lakes TH.

Good idea but 120 is already open. You just can't get to the Valley via 120 right now.
avatar Big Meadow Fire Update: 100% Contained
September 08, 2009 12:23PM
This morning Yosemite National Park resumed management of the fire from California Interagency Incident Management Team One, which has been directing the firefighting effort on the park's behalf since August 28. Acting Superintendent Dave Uberuaga expresses his appreciation for the team's hard work and exemplary safety record.

Hazard tree cutting and debris removal will continue along the Big Oak Flat Road today until the road opens. Firefighters are patrolling all areas of the fire to mop up hot spots, restoring trails and fireline to their natural condition, and packing out hose and other firefighting equipment.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 08, 2009 04:51PM
Don't forget this mess was started by a "prescribed burn."
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 08, 2009 08:19PM
Quote
Vince
Don't forget this mess was started by a "prescribed burn."

And don't forget all the good things prescribed burns have done.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 08, 2009 08:47PM
One hundred and fifty years or so of fire suppression has set up the big fires of today. After everything has been burned back a few time over the next fifty years or so things will look better and the fires will be duff and brush burners. I wonder what percentage of the trees in the park are less than 100 years old.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 08, 2009 10:51PM
Quote
mrcondron
One hundred and fifty years or so of fire suppression has set up the big fires of today. After everything has been burned back a few time over the next fifty years or so things will look better and the fires will be duff and brush burners. I wonder what percentage of the trees in the park are less than 100 years old.

One less now?

avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 09, 2009 04:55AM
Quote
Vince
Don't forget this mess was started by a "prescribed burn."



The unregulated 'Private Sector' has produced mistakes which dwarf this fire.
Something dating back to 1960/1961 comes to mind.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 08, 2009 10:29PM
Part of the decline in health that we are seeing in the tree population around Yosemite IS because the forests have become too densely packed, so that both pests and disease are easily spread. Fires were a good thing when they were left to nature to regulate (prior to the 150 years of suppression)

B
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 08, 2009 10:35PM
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 09, 2009 08:21AM
Were any houses hit in Foresta? Have not heard a lot about that village other than evac notice and termination.

Jim
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 09, 2009 01:36PM
Quote
tomdisco
Were any houses hit in Foresta?

No.
avatar Re: Big Meadow Fire Update
September 09, 2009 01:36PM
Crews are working in Foresta to clear debris in the area. Firefighters are patrolling all areas of the fire to mop up hot spots, restoring trails and fireline to their natural condition. Resource Advisors are working with hazard tree crews. As snags (standing dead trees) provide critical wildlife habitat, only trees that pose a safety risk are being removed.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login