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Friday, May 13, 2011

YNP News: Yosemite National Park Begins Debris Pile Burning

Yosemite News Release: Yosemite National Park Begins Pile Burning
First burn project of 2011 

Yosemite National Park will start debris pile burning Monday, May 16, 2011.
Pile burning locations will initially include Foresta, a small community
surrounded by the park. Future pile burning will occur in the Merced
Grove, as well as multiple areas along the Wawona Road such as, Bills Hill,
Camp Wawona, and the South Entrance.

Piles of debris are typically burned during the spring and fall when the
weather conditions are cooler and there is a higher amount of
precipitation. Burn piles generally consist of down and dead forest
material, such as tree limbs, logs, and brush. A maximum of 200 piles may
be burned in one day. Each 100 piles burned equals roughly 1 acre of dead
and down debris.

Pile burning is beneficial for clearing forest undergrowth and reducing
fuels. It provides an opportunity to clear the roadways from overhanging
vegetation thereby creating a safer environment for motorists, as well as
allowing the sun to reach the road which in turn helps the winter ice melt
faster. In addition, pile burning can create fuel breaks that may be
utilized during future prescribed fires in the area.

Temperatures over the next few weeks will remain cool, with sporadic rain
predicted. Visitors and the surrounding communities should expect minimal
smoke due to the pile burning in the Yosemite area.

Frequently Asked Questions:
"Why do you wait until so late into the spring and why not chip the

We waited this long for the standing piles to dry out enough to burn and
consume the entire pile. It was an exceptionally wet year and those
piles, even with direct sun exposure, needed an extended drying period.

Why we do not chip and haul or leave in place?.
The key reason the piles are in close proximity to cabins and homes and we
want to eliminate the material rather than chip and leave in-place. Too
many chips on the ground also resists water from permeating through the
chipped vegetation to the ground. Additionally, it is very expensive to
haul it away.

For more information on fire in Yosemite National Park, please visit:
More Information:
Yosemite National Park
PO Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389
Media Contacts:
Scott Gediman 209-372-0248
Kari Cobb 209-372-0529

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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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