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Yosemite Fires – Update #37

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avatar Yosemite Fires – Update #37
September 18, 2009 03:07PM
Yosemite Fires – Update #37 – September 17, 2009

Big Meadow Fire

The Big Meadow fire in the community of Foresta, began on August 26, the cause being an escaped prescribed fire. It was 100% contained September 10, and 7,425 acres were burned (11.6 sq.miles). The fire cost is an estimated $16.3 million. No structures were lost and were three minor injuries to firefighters. Two interagency review teams (operations and a cost) have completed their respective reviews and the final reports will be available in approximately one month.

The Big Meadow fire will be in patrol status beginning Friday September 18, 2009. Fire crews have made exceptional progress in the rehabilitation of the roads, trails, and mop into the fire perimeter. Unburned islands of fuel remain and will continue to have heat and smoke emitting from them. This will continue until significant precipitation occurs later this fall.

Fire crews have continued to mop-up 300 feet into the burned area from the perimeter lines. Fire crews and Park resource advisors have worked together in the rehabilitation efforts within the Community of Foresta. Those efforts have focused on repairing bulldozer lines around private property; removal of cut brush and other wooding debris (slash) near property lines; repairing and re-grading of various roads; reduction of hazard trees and snags by cutting or removal; restoring trails and fire lines to their natural condition. Snags (standing dead trees) provide critical wildlife habitat and only trees that pose a safety risk are being removed. An important infrastructure repair has begun with AT&T to get the phone lines working again.

Road Information: All roads remain open in the fire area. Road information is available by calling (209) 372-0200.

Campgrounds and trail closures: The Tamarack campground remains closed. Trail closures include: Old Big Oak Flat Trailhead to El Capitan, Rockslides to El Capitan and Tamarack Creek to El Capitan.

Safety Message: Although all roads are open through the fire area, drivers are requested to observe posted speed limits carefully as some fire equipment and other fire rehab units will be in the area working along roads. Use caution while driving in the early morning and later in the evening as occasional smoke may be visible along the roads. There is considerable interest by visitors travelling through the fire area. If you stop to observe the fire landscape we encouraged visitors to use pull-outs and turn-outs to observe the fire effects. It is emphasized that visitors stay in the graded or paved areas along the roads and not venture into the ash areas as hot spots may remain.

For additional Information: Yosemite Fire Information and Education Office: (209) 372-0480
Yosemite Fire Management Website: http://www.nps.gov/yose/fire
avatar Re: Yosemite Fires – Update #37
September 18, 2009 03:28PM
It would be interesting to see a comparison between prescribed fire cost and prescribed fire cost when things screw up.
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