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Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire Scheduled for Early April

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avatar Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire Scheduled for Early April
March 26, 2013 04:22PM
Yosemite National Park fire managers are tentatively planning to begin burning the 150 acre Wawona Northwest Segment B Prescribed Fire on about April 4, 2013. This date may change due to weather conditions. Ignition will take 2 – 4 days and active burn down will last 1 – 2 weeks.

The primary objective is to reduce hazardous fuels within the mixed conifer forest adjacent to the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) community of Wawona. This project creates a continuous area of reduced fuel by linking together multiple previous fires and treatments including the 2007 and 2008 Wawona Northwest prescribed fires, the 2007 Jack wildfire which was caused by lightning, and a series of mechanical vegetation thinning projects in the 2000’s.

A secondary objective is ecosystem restoration. Applying fire under prescribed conditions mimics the frequent, low intensity lightning caused fires that occurred in Sierras prior to the exclusion of fire which began over 100 years ago under aggressive fire suppression policies. Historically, natural fire burned an average of 16,000 acres annually in Yosemite and played an integral role in shaping Yosemite’s ecosystems. In the absence of frequent fire, unnatural levels of forest biomass have accumulated which has put many of Yosemite’s values at risk, including neighboring communities, and natural and cultural features. As climate changes, these values become increasingly vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire.

Community members and visitors can expect to see crews from various federal and state agencies preparing the burn unit and conducting burn operations in the coming days. Prior to ignition, old fire control lines around the unit will be improved and new ones will be established.

Smoke will be present during the prescribed fire, particularly during late evening and early morning hours. Fire managers are working with the Mariposa County Air Pollution District (MCAPCD) to time the project to coincide with favorable weather that will facilitate good air quality, and disperse smoke into the atmosphere away from the community. Prior to ignition, a burn permit will be issued to the park by MCAPCD and smoke monitoring equipment will be installed in the community. Community members who are sensitive to smoke may want to close their windows and doors and/or consider leaving the area during active ignition of the project in order to reduce their exposure.

For additional information please contact Fire Information and Education Specialist Jennifer Chapman - jennifer_chapman@nps.gov, (415)-464-5133 or Deputy Fire Chief - Fuels Taro Pusina - taro_pusina@nps.gov, 209-375-9576. You may also check the Yosemite Fire Management Website: http://www.nps.gov/yose/parkmgmt/rx-fire-projects.htm
avatar Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire Postponed
April 02, 2013 01:00PM
Due to recent rainfall, the Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire in Yosemite National Park has been rescheduled and will now tentatively begin next week on Tuesday, April 9. This date may change again, however, based on weather conditions. Smoke will still be visible in the project area before the prescribed fire is ignited because park fire crews will use the opportunity of the wet weather to burn piles of cut vegetation within the burn unit. This will contribute to the goal of reducing fuel to protect the community of Wawona and will also serve as a smoke management technique by reducing emissions from the larger prescribed fire. Pile burning will also take place at several other locations throughout the park. For more information about the upcoming burn near Wawona, contact Jennifer Chapman at 415-464-5133 or jennifer_chapman@nps.gov.
avatar Prescribed Fire Near Wawona Postponed Another Week
April 09, 2013 12:24PM
Due to continued rain and snow, the Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire in Yosemite National Park has been postponed for another week. It is now scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 16, but the date could change again if the forecasted drying trend is delayed. Park fire crews will use the opportunity of the extended wet weather to burn more piles on park lands in the communities of Foresta, Wawona and El Portal. These piles of cut vegetation are leftover from previous mechanical fuel reduction projects. For more information about the upcoming Wawona Northwest Prescribed Fire, contact Jennifer Chapman at 415-464-5133 or jennifer_chapman@nps.gov.
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