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Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire Project has been postponed indefinitely

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avatar Wawona Prescribed Fire Postponed
May 16, 2012 10:12AM
The planned prescribed fire scheduled for today in the Wawona area has been postponed. Due to an unsettled weather pattern and concern for the safety of the community, the 846 prescribed fire will not occur. A later date for the prescribed fire is forthcoming.
avatar Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire Project has been postponed indefinitely
May 17, 2012 10:25AM
The 846 acre Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire, that began on May 15, 2012, has been postponed. Fire officials cancelled the project due to concerns for safety to firefighters and the community, and an unsettled weather pattern. A high pressure ridge over the Sierra Nevada is projected for the weekend and may not have allowed enough time to complete the project.

This project is one of the most difficult prescribed fires units within the park due to very steep terrain, with a 2300’ elevation gain. The decision to cancel the project weighed on adequate planning, evaluation of risk, fire ground situational awareness and availability of adequate resources. This decision process is taken on all fires and up to the minute before ignition begins. The intent of the risk analysis is to reduce the subjectivity in evaluating the suitability of completing every prescribed fire project safely.

Specific to the Wawona project, early drying of vegetation, inadequate resources and concerns by fire managers to hold the fire along fire lines led to the uncertainty of successfully mitigating an escape. The extremely dry winter and early drying of vegetation, points out the importance of property owners to maintain defensible space and clearance of dead and down vegetation within 100 feet of their properties. The Wawona NW project will be considered for a later date this fall or next spring.

For additional Information: Yosemite Fuels and Prescribed Fire Office: Taro_Pusina@nps.gov - (209) 375-9576. Yosemite Fire Information and Education: Gary_Wuchner@nps.gov – 375-9574 or 372-0480. Yosemite Fire Management Website: http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/rx-fire-projects.htm .
avatar Re: Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire Project has been postponed indefinitely
May 17, 2012 01:36PM
I'm very pleased that the Park Service appears to be taking now a more cautious and prudent approach in regard to prescribed burns within Yosemite.

This bodes well in preventing fiascos like the 2009 Big Meadow Prescribed Burn wildfire.

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