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Yosemite Fires – Update #16 – August 23, 2010

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avatar Yosemite Fires – Update #15 – August 21, 2010
August 23, 2010 03:34PM
The lightning caused fires of July and August continue to burn in Yosemite wilderness and are being managed for multiple objectives. This means fire managers and firefighters may use less aggressive or minimal actions where the fire is accomplishing benefits on the land. For example, the fire may burn the understory of trees, ridding the area of accumulations of dead and down vegetation.

In wilderness areas, Minimum Impact Management Tactics (MIMT) are utilized by using natural barriers of rock and lakes, or utilizing trails and past fires thereby lessening the use of aggressive hand tools, i.e. chain saws. Utilizing the minimal tool and natural features further reduces the work needed to rehabilitate the fire area. Firefighters do this without diverting their attention from the safety of themselves or the public. These adjustments firefighters make to effect minimum resource impacts are essential if the spirit of wilderness and National Parks is to be maintained.

Slope fire: (37 54.572 x 119 40.924); 6900’ el., Tuolumne Co). The Slope fire has grown to approximately 776 acres, with the most movement to the east and southeast. This lightning caused fire began July 25. Light smoke may continue to be visible along Tioga Rd, White Wolf area, O’Shaughnessy Dam of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Rancheria trail area, and in the Tuolumne Meadows area. The fire remains a creeping surface fire through duff and other down vegetation. The mixed conifer forest is on a north
aspect, with cedar and white fir trees, down tree limbs and compacted short needles as the predominate vegetation. Fire monitoring crews were rotated 8/20/2010.

All trails in the Harden Lake area are now open. The immediate Harden lake area is open to hikers for day use only. Hikers are reminded to stay on trails through the fire area.

Vernon: (37 59.813 x 119 43.618); approximately 7000’ el., Tuolumne Co. This fire is at 99 acres, and is the result of a single tree being struck by lightning August 8, 2010. The most active part of the fire continues to be toward the southwest and southeast, with 75% of the perimeter active. It is backing downhill, with 2 foot flame lengths. This fire is in designated wilderness, and will be managed for multiple objectives primarily forest restoration. It is approximately three miles north of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and one half mile south of Lake Vernon. There is significant lightning caused fire history near this fire; the most recent being the 2006 Frog and the 2005 Wapama fires. The fire is in a predominately red fir and Jeffrey pine forest. Fuels burning are needle litter and other down and dead vegetation. Fire monitoring crews were rotated on 8/20/2010.

Cooperators for both the Vernon and Slope fires include the San Francisco Water Quality and Public Utilities Commission at Hetch Hetchy, and the Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control District.

An unseasonable trough of cooler air is expected through the weekend, with transport winds up to 10-15 mph moving smoke upslope and to the north and northeast.

A note to mapping and acreage increases: Ground based GPS mapping is more accurate than coordinates obtained by helicopter mapping. Air based GPS often rounds off corners and acreages are missed.

Other fires: The Tuolumne and the Wildcat fires are both inactive. The human caused Pohono and Clark fires are out. All are being patrolled.
avatar Yosemite Fires – Update #16 – August 23, 2010
August 24, 2010 03:51PM
The lightning caused fires of July and August continue to burn in Yosemite wilderness and are being managed for multiple objectives. This means fire managers and firefighters may use less aggressive or minimal actions where the fire is accomplishing benefits on the land. For example, the fire may burn the understory of trees, ridding the area of accumulations of dead and down vegetation.

In wilderness areas, Minimum Impact Management Tactics (MIMT) are utilized by using natural barriers of rock and lakes, or utilizing trails and past fires thereby lessening the use of aggressive hand tools, i.e. chain saws. Utilizing the minimal tool and natural features further reduces the work needed to rehabilitate the fire area. Firefighters do this without diverting their attention from the safety of themselves or the public. These adjustments firefighters make to effect minimum resource impacts are essential if the spirit of wilderness and National Parks is to be maintained.

Slope fire: (37 54.572 x 119 40.924); 6900’ el., Tuolumne Co). The Slope fire is revised to 658 acres. Ground calculations were re-computed and reflect accurate acreages to date. Although the fire area had decreased temperatures, winds did contribute to increased fire behavior over the weekend of August 21. The most active fire perimeter is slow movement to the east, with 8 to 12 inch flame lengths, through shaded and damp surface fuels. This lightning caused fire began July 25. Smoke may continue to be
visible along Tioga Rd, White Wolf area, O’Shaughnessy Dam of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Rancheria trail area, and in the Tuolumne Meadows area. The mixed conifer forest is on a north aspect, with cedar and white fir trees, down tree limbs and compacted short needles as the predominate vegetation. Fire monitoring crews were rotated 8/20/2010, and seven firefighters are committed.

The fire has crossed the trail from Harden Lake to Pate Valley. Hikers will be escorted through the area. The immediate Harden lake area is open to hikers for day use only. Hikers are reminded to stay on trails through the fire area.

Vernon: (37 59.813 x 119 43.618); approximately 7000’ el., Tuolumne Co. This lightning caused fire has grown to approximately 160 acres. The most active part of the fire is now toward the north and northeast, with 75% of the perimeter active. The fire has crossed the trail to Lake Vernon from the Tiltill Valley Junction from the south and is closed. Closed trail signs are in place and hikers are to refrain from hiking to Lake Vernon from the Tiltill junction. The fire did become more active due to breezing atmospheric conditions over the weekend of August 21. This fire is in designated wilderness, and will be managed for multiple objectives, primarily forest restoration. It is approximately three miles north of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and one half mile south of Lake Vernon. There is significant lightning caused fire history near this fire; the most recent being the 2006 Frog and the 2005 Wapama fires. The fire is in a predominately red fir and Jeffrey pine forest. Fuels burning are needle litter and other down and dead vegetation. Fire monitoring crews were rotated on 8/20/2010; and 5 personnel are committed.

Cooperators for both the Vernon and Slope fires include the San Francisco Water Quality and Public Utilities Commission at Hetch Hetchy, and the Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control District.

A high pressure ridge is to bring higher temperatures and decreased humidities this week. Moderate to heavy smoke will be visible over both the Vernon and Slope fire areas. Contributing to the smoke affecting the Yosemite area is the Pinecrest fire near Dodge Ridge and Highway 108, which is visible on satellite observations.

Other fires: The Tuolumne and the Wildcat fires are both inactive. The human caused Pohono and Clark fires are out. All are being patrolled.
avatar Yosemite Fires – Update #17 – August 26, 2010
August 26, 2010 01:44PM
The lightning caused fires of July and August continue to burn in Yosemite wilderness and are being managed for multiple objectives. This means fire managers and firefighters may use less aggressive or minimal actions where the fire is accomplishing benefits on the land. For example, the fire may burn the understory of trees, ridding the area of accumulations of dead and down vegetation.

In wilderness areas, Minimum Impact Management Tactics (MIMT) are utilized by using natural barriers of rock and lakes, or utilizing trails and past fires thereby lessening the use of aggressive hand tools, i.e. chain saws. Utilizing the minimal tool and natural features further reduces the work needed to rehabilitate the fire area. Firefighters do this without diverting their attention from the safety of themselves or the public. These adjustments firefighters make to effect minimum resource impacts are essential if the spirit of wilderness and National Parks is to be maintained.

Slope fire: (37 54.572 x 119 40.924); 6900’ el., Tuolumne Co). The Slope fire is at 688 acres. The fire activity has increased in spread, and growth, due to lower humidities and higher temperatures. The most active fire perimeter is to the east. Fire monitors reported single tree torching and short range spotting ahead of the fire. It is burning in brush, timber and heavy accumulations of dead and down vegetation, through an area with no recorded fire history. This lightning caused fire began July 25. Smoke is visible along Tioga Rd, White Wolf area, O’Shaughnessy Dam of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, Rancheria trail area, and in the Tuolumne Meadows area. The fire continues to burn on a predominately north aspect in a mixed conifer forest. Seven firefighters are committed.

The fire has crossed the trail from Harden Lake to Pate Valley and is adjacent to all other trails to Pate Valley. Consequently the decision was made by Wilderness and Fire Management officers to close all trails in the area to Pate Valley from White Wolf for safety to hikers and backpackers.

Vernon: (37 59.813 x 119 43.618); approximately 7000’ el., Tuolumne Co. This lightning caused fire has grown to approximately 230 acres. It is burning in brush and timber, with the greatest movement to the east. Fire monitors noted single tree torching and brush fields burning. This fire is in designated wilderness, and will be managed for multiple objectives, primarily forest restoration. It is approximately three miles north of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and one half mile south of Lake Vernon. There is significant lightning caused fire history near this fire; the most recent being the 2006 Frog, and the 2005 Wapama fires. The fire is in a predominately red fir and Jeffery pine forest. Five personnel are committed.

The fire has crossed the trail to Lake Vernon from the Tiltill Valley Junction from the south and is closed.

Cooperators for both the Vernon and Slope fires include the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control District.

A high pressure ridge has brought very high temperatures and decreased humidities this week. Moderate to heavy smoke will be visible over both the Vernon and Slope fire areas with transport winds from the southwest.

Other fires: The Tuolumne and the Wildcat fires are both inactive. The fires are being patrolled.
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