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Hodgdon Prescribed Fire Update

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avatar Hodgdon Prescribed Fire Begins Today
June 19, 2012 10:48AM
Fire Managers will proceed with the Hodgdon Meadow, Segments D and E, prescribed fire Tuesday June 19, 2012.

Fuel moistures and other fire factors, within the burn unit; have reached optimal levels to successfully complete the 234 acre project. Yosemite National Park fire crews are preparing the units for the project, such as scraping away many years of accumulated duff and other vegetation from the bases of large trees. The project area is near the Big Oak Flat entrance station, campground and community of Hodgdon Meadows. Yosemite’s fire crews will be augmented with firefighters from Point Reyes National Seashore, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, and San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The two units have had minimal fire history between 1930 and 1990, although natural fire history is evident with fire scars on several mature trees. Since 1990, a hazardous fuel reduction program has been implemented to protect private and public structures around the Hodgdon Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). The most recent projects were last summer with over 500 acres being treated. A mixture of fuel reduction techniques have been used including mechanical thinning, pile and prescribed burning. These WUI treatments have created defensible space for the Hodgdon residential area. This project will not only extend the defensible space, but also facilitate the reintroduction of fire into the ecosystem and restore the forest area. Combined with other burns near Crane Flat, and Rockefeller Grove areas, and with the fuel reduction projects conducted by the Stanislaus National Forest along Evergreen Road, this project will further reduce the likelihood of catastrophic fire originating at lower elevations, either inside or outside of the park affecting communities in mixed confer pine forest.

Smoke will be visible, and is always a factor in the decision making process in regards to public health. A smoke management plan has been submitted to the Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control District, and a burn permit has been issued. Smoke monitors will be deployed in smoke sensitive areas determined by Yosemite’s air quality manager, and Tuolumne County APCD.

More updates will be published through the duration of the prescribed fire project. It is anticipated active ignition will take two to three days. The fire area will then be mopped–up and monitored.

For Additional Information please contact:
avatar Hodgdon Prescribed Fire Update
June 21, 2012 10:40AM
Fire managers began the 234 acre Hodgdon Meadow prescribed fire as scheduled June 19. Approximately 120 acres have been burned. Sixty firefighters are assigned to the project, including fire crews from Point Reyes National Seashore, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, and the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge. The project is progressing well, but slower than anticipated.

Park air monitors in the Hodgdon area reported poor dispersion last night 6/19/12, which combined with significant emissions, resulted in heavy smoke at the hazardous 3 hour average. These readings were localized in the Hodgdon area; however smoke was visible throughout the park and down canyon. Ignition operations were delayed and held until late afternoon on 6/20/12 due to increased fire behavior and the potential of spot fires. The stable air mass over the region held smoke near the ground and did not allow for good mixing and dispersion of smoke into the atmosphere.

Current: Heavy smoke is again predicted tonight in the Unhealthy to Hazardous Air Quality Index (AQI) range near the Hodgdon Meadows area. Favorable smoke dispersion is predicted by mid-morning Thursday (6/21/12). Completion of the project will be facilitated as smoke emissions become lower and air quality improves.

Smoke is always a factor in the decision making process in regards to public health. Yosemite Fire Managers will continue to work with the Tuolumne Air Pollution Control District throughout the duration of the project. Each day an air quality conference call is conducted state wide discussing forecasted and predicted weather to assist in making prescribed fire decisions and go/no go decisions by all land management agencies, California Air Resources Board, and regional and local APCDs.

Please refer to: Http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm for the latest Yosemite webcam and air quality monitoring information.

The Hodgdon Meadow fire area has had minimal fire history between 1930 and 1990, although natural fire history is evident with fire scars on several mature trees. Since 1990, a hazardous fuel reduction program has been implemented to protect private and public structures around the Hodgdon Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). The most recent projects were last summer with over 500 acres being treated. A mixture of fuel reduction techniques have been used including mechanical thinning, pile and prescribed burning. These WUI treatments have created defensible space for the Hodgdon residential area. This project will not only extend the defensible space, but will also provide larger safety zones for firefighters. It will also facilitate the reintroduction of fire into the ecosystem and restore the forest area. Combined with other prescribed fires near Crane Flat, and Rockefeller Grove areas, and with the fuel reduction projects conducted by the Stanislaus National Forest along Evergreen Road, this project will further reduce the likelihood of catastrophic fire originating at lower elevations, either inside or outside of the park affecting communities in mixed confer pine forest. Finally, this prescribed fire and others will provide larger safety zones for firefighter safety during future fires.
avatar Hodgdon Prescribed Fire Update
June 22, 2012 09:57AM
Firefighters completed the 234 acre Hodgdon Meadow prescribed fire at 11:30 A.M. Thursday, June 21. Although ignitions have been completed, there will be a few more days of residual burning of down logs within the prescribed fire perimeter. Mop-up of hot spots has begun. Light smoke will continue to be generated over the next few days. Sixty firefighters are assigned to the project, including fire crews from Point Reyes National Seashore, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, and the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge. Fire managers will begin releasing firefighters as conditions allow.

The Carlon Falls trail is open to hikers, with the restriction to stay on the trail due to deep ash and potential for falling snags, dead fire damaged trees, within the fire perimeter. The Carlon Road will remain closed.

Park air monitors in the Hodgdon area are reporting improving air quality. Air dispersion is forecasted to remain favorable through the early part of next week and will dissipate residual smoke.

Smoke is always a factor in the decision making process in regards to public health. Yosemite Fire Managers will continue to work with the Tuolumne Air Pollution Control District throughout the duration of the project. Each day an air quality conference call is conducted state wide discussing forecasted and predicted weather to assist in making prescribed fire decisions and go/no go decisions by all land management agencies, California Air Resources Board, and regional and local APCDs.

Please refer to: http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm for the latest Yosemite webcam and air quality monitoring information.
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