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Re: Ferguson Fire Update

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avatar Ferguson Fire Update
July 18, 2018 12:45PM
The Ferguson Fire is 12, 525 acres and 5% contained. Residences and businesses in the State Route 140 corridor continue to be impacted. As the fire continues to move East and South, it will continue to threaten residences in the Jerseydale, Mariposa Pines, Clearing House and Incline areas. Fire crews are fighting the fire aggressively. Very steep terrain makes it difficult to insert crews in certain areas of the fire. Management Action Points have been established to provide the highest level of protection to both the public and firefighters and other emergency responders. The closure of State Route 140 at Mariposa continues to close the Western entrance to Yosemite National Park.

Power lines that provide electric service to the Yosemite Valley were re-energized today restoring some service East of the fire including Yosemite National Park.

The fire continues to spread South and East toward Jerseydale, Mariposa Pines, and Yosemite West.

Aircraft utilization has been limited due to a strong inversion layer. Instability will return to the area Wednesday with an increase in the potential for thunderstorms and outflow winds.

Mandatory Evacuations: Areas that are currently under a mandatory evacuation include: Incline Rd from Clearing House to the last BLM campground; Jerseydale/ Mariposa Pines; Cedar Lodge/ Indian Flat Campground, Savage’s Trading Post and Sweetwater Ridge. Incline Rd from Clearing House to the Foresta Bridge.

Evacuation Advisory: This is NOT an Evacuation Order. This is an advisement only of a potential Evacuation Order should conditions change.
  • Yosemite West
  • Lushmeadows Community
  • Ponderosa Basin Community
  • Triangle Rd from Jerseydale Rd to Hwy 49 South including all side roads.
  • Darrah Rd from Triangle to Sherrod Rd
  • East side of Hwy 49S from Darrah Rd to Harris Rd- This includes Boyer Rd, Woodland Area, Wass Rd, Tip Top Rd
  • National Park Service El Portal Complex
  • Rancheria Flat- Government Housing
  • El Portal Trailer Court
  • Old El Portal
Highway 140 is closed from Abbie Rd in El Portal to 14 miles north of Mariposa. Incline Rd, River Road from Briceburg to the gate at Railroad Flat and all Campground areas closed. Hites Cove / Jerseydale Rd.
avatar Re: Ferguson Fire Update
July 18, 2018 05:57PM
I found out about the fire over the weekend. I had plans to take Amtrak and YARTS to Midpines first thing Monday, then YARTS in and out of the park for the rest of the week. First I got a YARTS alert that because of the fire, buses from Merced wouldn't be running beyond Mariposa until further notice. Then Amtrak notified me that they wouldn't be able to get me to Midpines, I canceled my reservations, of course, and got new ones for a couple of months from now.

I was wondering, though: when visitors are stranded by a road closure due to fire, flood, rockslide or whatever, what options do they have for getting home? When the June, 2017 rockslide closed 140 between El Portal and Arch Rock, I was outside the park but in the area. There would have been several YARTS buses parked in the Valley, scheduled to go back to Merced in the evening. As I understood it, at least one of them went back the long way, by way of Oakhurst, Mariposa, Midpines, El Portal, Midpines, and Mariposa again, eventually making all the stops. I don't remember exactly what YARTS did for the next few days, until the road was reopened, but I'm pretty sure no one was left without an option for getting home. I heard that some of the folks who were staying in Midpines were driving to and from the park by way of 49 and 41. I didn't care for such a long "commute" myself so as soon as I heard the slide would take a few days to clear, I gave up and headed home.

The Ferguson fire apparently started Friday evening, around the time the last bus to Merced would've been passing through the Cedar Lodge area. I don't know exactly when the road got closed but if any YARTS buses did make it into the Valley the next morning, they presumably would've returned to Merced by way of Oakhurst as before.

Suppose I'd been staying in Midpines when the fire started. With no YARTS service through the area, would I have had to hitch a ride to Mariposa with my baggage, or are there other options that I don't know about?

Is it safe to assume that road closures (like 140 this week) will generally be "soft" ones so that people living along that part of the road can still come and go? I'm not talking about evacuation orders, obviously, but the descriptions of exactly which portion of 140 is closed seem to vary a lot. The latest from Caltrans says "1.9 MI EAST OF MIDPINES /AT CLIMBING LANE/", which would seem to include Briceburg, the Octagon House -- and the Yosemite Bug.
avatar Ferguson Fire Update, July 20, AM
July 20, 2018 12:38PM
The fire was active overnight, particularly along Highway 140 near El Portal, along Pinoche Ridge, and on its southeastern corner. Crews working along the highway continued to bring fire slowly to the road, successfully strengthening lines on the South side of the Merced River. The fire has remained on the South side of the river. They worked on the primary containment line on the West side of the fire along Henness Ridge; it is line is expected to be completed today. Firefighters working on “indirect” lines (built away from the fires active edge) around the community of Jerseydale also made good progress overnight. As of 6:00 A.M. on July 20, 2018, no structures have been damaged or destroyed by the Ferguson Fire.

Firefighters will work today to complete indirect lines and to monitor and take suppression action as the fire approaches the Highway 140 corridor and the communities of Yosemite West and Jerseydale. They will also scout opportunities for containment of the Southeastern side of the fire, where terrain and lack of roads make access difficult.

Thunderstorms remain in the forecast for the next few days, which can produce gusty outflow winds.
avatar Re: Ferguson Fire Update
July 20, 2018 10:37PM
Tonight I found this on the InciWeb site. It's apparently dated 7 PM, 7/20/18:

Quote

Evacuation Order for Old El Portal, Rancheria Flat, Yosemite View Lodge
Ferguson Fire Wildfire

MANDATORY EVACUATION FOR FERGUSON FIRE AREA

WHAT: Mandatory Evacuation

WHEN: Effective Immediately

WHERE: A MANDATORY EVACUATION has been issued for the

Old El Portal
Rancheria Flat- Government Housing
Foresta
Yosemite View Lodge

Please evacuate as soon as possible.

According to the latest map, the fire is within 1/4 mile of the Foresta Road bridge, the NPS warehouse, etc. I'm wondering how it'll impact functions like sewage treatment for Yosemite Valley, especially if NPS staff have to leave the facility.
Re: Ferguson Fire Update
July 21, 2018 09:25AM
I know that some of the dead trees in the valley have been cut/removed from the valley floor. It's only a matter of time before one of these fires makes it's way into the valley and when it does it's going to be a big problem. I understand they can't identify and remove every dead tree in the valley but something needs to be done to thin out the trees on the valley floor.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2018 09:26AM by ERICG.
avatar Re: Ferguson Fire Update
July 21, 2018 04:17PM
A MANDATORY EVACUATION has been issued for Yosemite West. Red Cross Shelter at New Life Christian Church located at 5089 Cole Rd in Mariposa.
avatar Ferguson Fire Morning Update for July 23, 2018
July 23, 2018 09:34AM
Firefighters are making good progress building lines to help contain the 33,743-acre Ferguson Fire. The fire is 13% contained and one nonresidential structure has been reported destroyed but dozens more have been saved because of the efforts of crews throughout the fire area.

North of the Merced River, the fire is burning on the Stanislaus National Forest and fire managers are using a mix of heavy equipment and hand crews to improve roads and build lines in the Montgomery Gulch area. Line construction is progressing east toward Eagle Peak and Buena Vista. To the south, the fire continues to burn in the Chowchilla Mountain area and indirect-line construction is moving forward to protect Wawona and Yosemite National Park. Aerial firefighting resources including a pair of DC-10 tanker planes and a fleet of helicopters have been utilized to slow the fire’s spread.

Along the western edge, firefighters have had great success protecting structures in Jerseydale and are mopping up areas on the edge of the fire to ensure the fire remains within containment lines. Strategic firing operations along the Sweetwater drainage are complete and have provided even more protection for communities to the west.

Weather forecasts are calling for hotter and drier air throughout the week as conditions align for critical and extreme fire weather in the coming days.

Yosemite National Park remains open. For information on Yosemite National Park, go to: http://nps.gov/yose or call +1 209 372-0200.

Mandatory Evacuations: Areas that are currently under a mandatory evacuation include:
  • Incline Road from Foresta Bridge to the last BLM campground
  • Jerseydale/ Mariposa Pines
  • Cedar Lodge/ Indian Flat Campground
  • Savage’s Trading Post
  • Sweetwater Ridge
  • El Portal Trailer Court
  • Rancheria Flat – Government Housing
  • Old El Portal
  • Yosemite View Lodge
  • Foresta
  • Yosemite West
  • Anderson Valley
  • Old Yosemite Road
Advisory Evacuations: This is NOT an Evacuation Order. This is an advisement only of a potential Evacuation Order should conditions change.
  • Lushmeadows Community
  • Ponderosa Basin Community
  • Triangle Road from Jerseydale Road to Highway 49 South including all side roads.
  • Darrah Road from Triangle to Sherrod Road.
  • East side of Highway 49 South from Darrah Road to Harris Road - This includes Boyer Road, Woodland Area, Wass Road, Tip Top Road.
Evacuation Center(s): New Life Christian Fellowship: 5089 Cole Road, Mariposa, CA 95338.

Road Closures: Highway 140 is closed from the entrance of Yosemite National Park to 1.5 miles West of Midpines. Incline Road, River Road from Briceburg to the gate at Railroad Flat and all Campground areas along Highway 140 closed. Hites Cove / Jerseydale Road, Foresta Road, Anderson Valley Road and Old Yosemite Road.

Animal Shelters: Small animals: SPCA of Mariposa County 5599 California 49, Mariposa, CA 95338 Large animals: 5007 Fairgrounds Road, Mariposa, CA 95338.
Re: Ferguson Fire Update
July 23, 2018 11:41AM
Smoke/Air Quality forecasts for the area affected by the Ferguson Fire and a more granular one for the Yosemite area:

Ferguson Fire Smoke Report

Yosemite Area Smoke Report
avatar Ferguson Fire Morning Update for July 24, 2018
July 24, 2018 10:58AM
A Ferguson Fire community meeting is scheduled for today at 11 a.m. at the Yosemite Valley Auditorium, 9035 Village Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA. 95389. Representatives from the Unified Command of CAL FIRE, the U.S. Forest Service and the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office will present an overview of the current situation and actions underway to contain it. Parking is available along Village Drive or in the Yosemite Village Parking Area.

The Ferguson Fire was relatively calm throughout much of the area Monday as a heavy inversion layer kept fire activity to a minimum while crews worked to complete containment line on all fronts. Firefighters are building a mix of handline and dozer line on the Stanislaus National Forest to build indirect line working up Soapstone Ridge, opening old roads near the burn scar of the 2014 Rim Fire. From there, the line heads east toward Eagle Peak and down to El Portal. Crews will strengthen and improve lines today. On the Sierra National Forest side, containment line is in place from Jerseydale across to Wawona Campground and crews will continue to plan and be ready to implement strategic firing operations to help build a wider buffer to stop the fire’s spread.

Firefighters are mopping up hot spots and areas that are still smoking near Jerseydale while they weigh the options to continue tactical firing as conditions allow.

Yosemite National Park remains open. For information on Yosemite National Park, go to: nps.gov/yose or call 209-372-0200.

Mandatory Evacuations: Areas that are currently under a mandatory evacuation include:
  • Incline Road from Foresta Bridge to the last BLM campground
  • Jerseydale/ Mariposa Pines
  • Cedar Lodge/ Indian Flat Campground
  • Savage’s Trading Post
  • Sweetwater Ridge
  • El Portal Trailer Court
  • Rancheria Flat – Government Housing
  • Old El Portal
  • Yosemite View Lodge
  • Foresta
  • Yosemite West
  • Anderson Valley
  • Old Yosemite Road
Advisory Evacuations: This is NOT an Evacuation Order. This is an advisement only of a potential Evacuation Order should conditions change.
  • Lushmeadows Community
  • Ponderosa Basin Community
  • Triangle Road from Jerseydale Road to Highway 49 South including all side roads.
  • Darrah Road from Triangle to Sherrod Road.
  • East side of Highway 49 South from Darrah Road to Harris Road - This includes Boyer Road, Woodland Area, Wass Road, Tip Top Road.
Evacuation Center(s): New Life Christian Fellowship: 5089 Cole Road, Mariposa, CA 95338.

Road Closures: Highway 140 is closed from the entrance of Yosemite National Park to 1.5 miles West of Midpines. Incline Road, River Road from Briceburg to the gate at Railroad Flat and all Campground areas along Highway 140 closed. Hites Cove / Jerseydale Road, Foresta Road, Anderson Valley Road and Old Yosemite Road.

Animal Shelters: Small animals: SPCA of Mariposa County 5599 California 49, Mariposa, CA 95338 Large animals: 5007 Fairgrounds Road, Mariposa, CA 95338.
Yosemite Valley closing down
July 24, 2018 01:54PM
Yosemite Valley will be shutting down from noon Wednesday until Sunday. Guests are being asked to leave by Wednesday morning. Part of the Wawona Road between Wawona and the tunnel will be closed as well.


Fresno Bee article
Re: Yosemite Valley closing down
July 24, 2018 10:43PM
How much is the Eastern Sierra affected? Let's say starting from TM to TP, over to LV/Mammoth. Air quality okay around Conness, Saddlebag, Smart Pass, etc. Is it worth climbing Dana again atm? Who has the tips?
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