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Fire Update September 10th, 2017

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avatar Fire Update September 10th, 2017
September 11, 2017 12:12PM
There are multiple fires burning in Yosemite National Park's wilderness. Showers and thunderstorms are possible each afternoon and evening through Tuesday, with a slight increase in temperature and lower relative humidities. Gusty and erratic winds are possible with any thunderstorm that develops.


Railroad
The Railroad Fire burning in the Sierra National Forest is ​12,358 acres and 70% contained. Highway 41 re-opened September 9th to the public at 2 pm. For the most up-to-date information go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5553/


Rattlesnake
Discovered: 9/7/17
Location: Hwy 120/Big Oak Flat Rd. at Foresta Rd.
Size: 15 ac.
Cause: RV/ Vehicle fire
Containment: 100%
Fuels: Grass mixed shrubs

The fire started due to an RV catching fire and spreading north into the old Big Meadow Burn scar which helped limit its spread. Yosemite fire crews will be checking this fire.


South Fork
Discovered: 8/13/17
Location: .75 miles east of the community of Wawona
Size: 6,740 acres
Cause: Unknown
Containment: 47%
Fuels: Mixed conifer and red fir

Fire remains quiet near the community of Wawona. The most activity yesterday was on the east flank burning into the wilderness backing through scattered pockets of dense fuel, towards Johnson Creek.

The northern spot fire near Turner Meadow has burned into the main fire. There may be some burning well interior and visible smoke with increased winds due to the storms. Both spot fires south of the South Fork of the Merced drainage were contained and secured with hose lays and handline. Sections of the north flank and the entire east flank are continuing to burn in the wilderness. The fire will be monitored by aircraft and fire lookouts. As fire burns into the high country wilderness it will burn actively through pockets of dense vegetation but will then slow down as it progresses into sparse vegetation and natural granite barriers limiting smoke production. This high country wilderness area has minimal values at risk.


Empire
Discovered: 8/1/17
Location: 1 mile east of Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area and 3/4 mile south of Glacier Point Road
Size: 5,787 acres
Cause: Lightning
Containment: 55%
Fuels: Red fir

Fire activity was moderated yesterday due to spotty precipitation over the fire area. The most activity was on the north east section near Glacier Point Road. Glacier Point Road remains closed until further notice due to fire operations.

Fire crews are implementing a perimeter control strategy for the north, west, and southern flanks of the fire to protect Bridalveil Campground, Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area, Yosemite West subdivision, Wawona Road (Highway 41), and Glacier Point road. Today crews will continue preparation along Glacier Point road from Bridalveil Campground to Mono Meadow trail head and begin implementation of strategic burning operations which will minimize high fire behavior along the road. The west and south flanks of the fire are contained, holding, and will continue to be monitored by aircraft and fire personnel. Areas of new smoke may be seen as the fire cleans up areas of unburned fuel interior. The east flank is being allowed to move towards the Illilouette basin to continue to enhance forest resiliency in a fire adapted ecosystem. Yosemite National Park has managed fire in this wilderness area for decades. This high country wilderness area is very steep and rugged with numerous natural barriers and minimal values at risk.


Starr King
Discovered: 8/2/17
Location: N 37° 42.965' x W 119° 29.588' at approximately 7800 feet elevation
Size: 60 acres
Cause: Lightning
Spread Potential: Low/Moderate
Fuels: Red fir/ Lodgepole
Strategy: Monitor

Fire personnel are on scene and will be securing the northern edge of the fire which will prevent fire from entering steep slopes down into Little Yosemite Valley. Fire continues to back towards the Cascade Cliff area. Smoke will be visible from the high country.


Yosemite Creek
Discovered: 8/3/17
Location: N 37° 50.414' x W 119° 38.088' at approximately 7,970 feet elevation
Size: 4 acres
Cause: Lightning
Spread Potential: Low
Fuels: Red fir
Strategy: Monitor

Fire is creeping and smoldering and will continue to be checked by fire crews. Fire has received some precipitation over the last few days.


Porcupine
Discovered: 8/2/17
Location: N 37° 49.336' x W 119° 34.720' at approximately 8154 feet elevation off Tioga road.
Size: 4.8 acres
Cause: Lightning
Spread Potential: Low
Fuels: Lodgepole/Red fir
Strategy: Monitor

Fires edge is 30 feet from the Tioga road and is creeping and smoldering and to be checked by fire crews. Fire has received some precipitation over the last few days.


Knob 91
Discovered: 8/4/17
Location 37° 52.185' x W 119° 35.217' at approximately 8980 feet elevation
Size: .39 acres
Cause: Lightning
Spread Potential: Low
Fuels: Timber litter
Strategy: Monitor


Air quality continues to improve throughout the Yosemite area. Winds from a more easterly direction and potential rain from afternoon thunderstorms tonight should keep the remaining Railroad Fire emissions out of Yosemite. This wind direction also makes more direct impacts in El Portal, Wawona, and Yosemite West from the South Fork and Empire Fire possible, but likely transient and dependent on the day’s fire activity. Fire Managers are working with the local Air Quality Districts and will be monitoring smoke impacts to the park and local communities. Community members who are sensitive to smoke may want to close their windows and doors, limit outdoor activity, and monitor the air quality forecast linked below for changes to the forecasted patterns.

https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/2017/CentralSierraFires#Area2
https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/aqmonitoring.htm
https://app.airsis.com/USFS/UnitMap?custId=11&unitId=1011&isHistoric=False
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