Monday, June 29, 2009

Update: Yosemite National Park Wilderness Fires

Yosemite Fires, Update #13, June 29, 2009
Fire activity increased over the weekend on the Grouse and Harden fires in Yosemite National Park. The Grouse Fire (250 acres) is about seven miles southwest of Yosemite Valley and north of Glacier Point Road. The Harden Fire (111 acres) is on the north side of the park, west of Harden Lake and northwest of White Wolf. The two fires are being managed to achieve both protection and resource objectives. The objectives for the fires include preventing fire growth outside defined management areas, restoring fire dependent forest systems, managing smoke production, protecting wildlife habitat and preserving cultural and natural resources. To achieve these objectives, fire personnel employ a variety of strategies and techniques such as building fire line, blacklining control lines, using aerial resources when necessary to slow fire progression and monitoring and patrolling.

Sunday, personnel took actions on the Grouse Fire to contain a spot north of Steamboat Ridge. A helicopter dropped buckets of water while crews worked on the ground constructing hand line. On the Harden Fire, personnel scouted areas to begin containing the fire on the east and west sides to allow continued progression. Additional resources will arrive Monday to assist with the management of these fires. Managers are prepared for increased fire activity as hot, dry conditions continue.

Park staff continues to monitor smoke and work closely with Mariposa and Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control Districts to address air quality concerns. Managers have identified actions that will be taken to meet incident objectives and minimize impacts to the park and surrounding communities. Smoky conditions may exist from time to time within the park. Residents and visitors are advised to take precautions to minimize smoke impacts to health. To see air quality data, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm

Wilderness Fire Unit:
Grouse (37 41.445 x 119 41.017; 6500’, Mariposa Co.), started May 30. It is approximately 250 acres. Personnel are working ahead of the fire implementing management actions along Steamboat Ridge to prevent northward fire spread. The fire is visible along Wawona Road (Highway 41) and Glacier Pt. Road. Temporary road closures may be enacted for visitor safety.

Harden (37 53.624 x 119 42.221; 7800’, Tuolumne Co); Lightning-caused, probably on June 8. It is north of White Wolf, west of Harden Lake and within the 1996 Ackerson fire perimeter. It is 111 acres and burning mostly in brush and Red Fir. Fire officials are assessing the need for closures around Harden Lake, Smith Peak and the old Aspen Valley Rd.

Indian Creek (.1 ac, 37 46.449 x 119 35.150; 7400’, Mariposa Co) Started May 30. It is about one mile north of the rim of the Valley, in needle litter and down trees and inactive at this time. It has low to moderate growth potential. Occasional smoke is visible.
Mono (37 40 24.24 x 119 45 19.45, Mariposa Co), started May 18 and is currently inactive. It has low to moderate potential for growth. Smoke is occasionally visible from the Glacier Pt. Road.

Suppression Unit:
Cottonwood (37 5413.68 119 4741.64, Tuolumne Co), started May 18. As of May 27, 2009 the Cottonwood Fire was controlled at 96 acres. This fire has not shown any activity in several days.

Fire Information: Please call 209/375-9574 and visit Inciweb @ http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1704
For Additional Information: The park website, www.nps.gov/yose/fire; or email at: yose_fire_information@nps.gov.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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