Sunday, June 28, 2009

YNP - Update: Yosemite National Park Fires

Yosemite National Park Fire Update
The Grouse and Harden fires in Yosemite National Park have resumed growing after several inactive days due to rain and cloudy, cool conditions. Now that a high pressure system has returned with high temperatures and low humidity, activity has increased on the fires. Personnel are actively managing the fires to achieve specific protection and resource objectives.

The protection of human life and property is the top priority for Yosemite’s fire management staff, as well as the preservation of natural and cultural resources, and the preservation and restoration of fire-dependent ecosystems. Each fire is managed individually to achieve one or more objectives in the safest, most efficient and cost-effective way possible. Strategies employed to meet these objectives may include full suppression, containment line building, use of natural barriers, monitoring, and other management techniques.

Park staff continues to monitor smoke and work closely with Mariposa and Tuolume 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 photos showing air quality, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

Wilderness Fire Zone:
Grouse (37 41.445 x 119 41.017; 6500’, Mariposa Co.) The fire began May 30, and has grown to approximately 75 acres. Personnel are working ahead of the fire implementing management actions along Steamboat Ridge to prevent northward fire spread. On Sunday, personnel will take measures to hold the fire in Grouse Creek drainage. The fire is visible along Highway 41 and 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 20 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 Point Road.
The Smith, Lehamite, Whitethorn, Pit and Dark Hole fires are out.

Suppression Zone:
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
For Additional Information: The park website, www.nps.gov/yose/fire; or email at: yose_fire_information@nps.gov.

Punky Moore
Fire Information Officer
209-375-9574

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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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