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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yosemite N.P. CA-YNP #Meadow Fire Update 4,960 Acres Burned 50% Containment (MAP) #CaFire

MEADOW FIRE CA-YNP- Meadow
Update #5 Saturday, September 13, 2014/Time: 8:00 AM
Yosemite National Park Meadow Fire View Showing Half Dome
Incident Statics
Acres Burned: 4,960 Structures Threatened: 0
Containment: 50% Structures Damaged: 0
Fire Start Date: July 19, 2014 Injuries: 1
Fire Discovered: 8/15/14 Total Personnel: 570
Fire Cause: Lightning Cost to date: $3.3 million
Est. Containment: 9/21/14

Summary
 The Fire is located within the designated wilderness of the Yosemite National Park in Mariposa County and is currently within Little Yosemite Valley between Half Dome and Mount Starr King on both sides of the Merced River.
The fire spread significantly due to a wind event which occurred on September 7, 2014.
In Yosemite National Park, fire managers operate within the federal guidelines to assess new naturally caused fires, long enough to determine the threat or benefit the fire may or may not have on the parks ecology. Most fires within the Yosemite National Park naturally burn themselves out. Only a small number of fires show potential for large fire growth and fire suppression action is needed to mitigate the threat to resources. Fire is an important component to the health of the parks sensitive ecology.
Recreation and businesses remain open in the Yosemite National Park except trail areas listed below.

Fire Update
Firefighter and public safety remains the highest priority. Fire crews are being sensitive to environmental and cultural resources in and around the fire area.
Last night’s infrared flight revealed some fire growth in the fire to the southeast portion of the fire, where a small burnout operation took place, but otherwise there was minimal perimeter growth. Intense heat still remains along the east flank. Crews and helicopters will continue to work known spot fires outside the line. 

Approximate Location

37.712 latitude, -119.509 longitude 
Map data ©2014 Google

Map
Satellite
5 km 

(More)
Due to the extremely steep, rugged and inaccessible terrain, some fire crews are being flown into the area by helicopter. Air resources, including eight helicopters are being utilized along the fire-line to slow the forward progress of the fire and to cool down hot spots. Due to the potential fire growth and extensive amount of work which remains, a high commitment of resources will be required.

Fire crews are using Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (M.I.S.T). Fire crews are confining and containing the naturally caused fire by utilizing natural barriers such as, rock to rock, rock to domes, decomposed granite (DG) to sparse fuels. Crews are working hard to maintain natural habitat in the wilderness and working diligently to limit the foot print the suppression effort may cause.

The trail to Half Dome via Little Yosemite Valley is open to day-use only. No overnight camping in any areas impacted by the fire is permitted.

The fire continues to burn through popular hiking areas in Yosemite National Park and trail closures still remain in effect.

Smoke from the Meadows Fire will continue to impact visitors, campers and employees overnight and in the early morning hours in Yosemite Valley.

Fires can produce heavy smoke that blows down into Yosemite Valley. Be prepared for smoke in the unhealthy AQI range normally worse in the mornings with some clearing in the afternoon hours.

Information for schools can be found on this site and links to current air quality updates for this incident will be posted on the California Smoke Information blog.

Trail Closures
By order of the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park and under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1.5(a) and Section (a)(1):

Little Yosemite Valley (closed to overnight use)
The John Muir Trail between Little Yosemite Valley and Sunrise High Sierra Camp
Sunrise and Merced Lake High Sierra Camps and backpackers’ camps
The Sunrise Trail south of the Tenaya Lake Trail Junction
Clouds Rest and Sunrise Lakes

Cooperating agencies include
U.S. Forest Service, National Weather Service and California Conservation Corp.

Incident Overview 9/13/14: The fire most likely started on July 19th 2014, near Starr King Lake after a lightning storm passed through the area. Due to the remoteness of the location and fire behavior, the fire was first reported August 15th 2014. The fire is in an area designated as wilderness in Yosemite National Park, within the Little Yosemite Valley, Mariposa County. The original fire was impacted by a wind event that caused the fire to spread significantly on September 7th 2014. The Meadow Fire will be fought using Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (M.I.S.T) to help preserve the natural ecology of the Yosemite Wilderness. The Wilderness Act 1964, expects Federal Agencies to allow natural processes to maintain the natural ecosystem.

Basic Information

Current as of9/13/2014 9:21:53 AM
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning
Date of OriginSaturday July 19th, 2014 approx. 08:00 AM
LocationEast of Half Dome in the Merced River Drainage at Little Yosemite Valley
Incident CommanderDavid Cooper SCSIIMT2
Incident DescriptionWildfire In The Wilderness

Current Situation

Total Personnel535
Size4,960 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained50%
Estimated Containment DateSunday September 21st, 2014 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved
Timber(litter and understory), timber brush and ground litter.
Significant Events
Last nights infrared revealed fire growth in the southeast portion of the fire, where a small burnout operation occurred to help strengthen containment lines. The west flank of the fire continues to cool. Areas of intense heat in the vegetated areas along the east flank continue. Known spot fires continue to be persistent to the north. Crews and aircraft have concentrated suppression efforts in these areas. Infrared shows heat in the west and southern tip of the fire. There are also isolated heat sources scattered throughout the fire. These areas will continue flare with the high temperatures and low humidity. In areas that have open ground fire there will be complete fuel consumption.

Outlook

Planned Actions
Spot fires continue to hamper suppression efforts in the eastern divisions of the fire. Crews continue to chase spot fires as well as construct and improve direct fire line where possible. Div.G, K, S and W hold the highest potential for fire spread with unburned pockets of fuel and areas of intense heat adjacent to the line. Crews continue to hold and improve existing constructed perimeter. Continued direct line construction. Aircraft will continue to shuttle crews and equipment and backhaul used supplies and equipment as needed.
Projected Incident Activity
Infrared shows the eastern divisions of the fire continue to carry large amounts of heat. Fire continues its interior burnout in forested areas and vegetative stringers between granite outcrops, many of these natural barriers are being utilized during line construction. Minimal perimeter growth is expected in the eastern divisions as constructed hand lines and natural barriers hold the fires growth. Given the large areas heat within interior, fire activity within control lines is expected to continue as daytime temperatures increase. Complete fuel consumption is expected in the lower elevations of the fire, higher elevations will have a higher potential for re-burn potential.
Remarks
The fire is located in a very popular area within the Yosemite National Park Wilderness. A confine and contain strategy is being implemented utilizing MIST tactics. Crews continue to be spiked out in the wilderness at several locations to reduce helicopter flights into the wilderness. Operations has secured the west flank in Divisions A and D which allowed the opening of the Half Dome Trail from Nevada Falls. The second priority is protection for the three High Sierra Camps, operated by the park concessionaire, located at Vogelsang, Sunrise Meadow and Merced Lake. Measures taken not to attract bears to food and other supplies have been successful. As divisions meet containment objectives, crews from those divisions will be placed in demobilization status.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns
An upper level ridge of high pressure will bring clear skies. Terrain driven winds and well above normal temperatures to the district through Tuesday. Only small day to day changes in humidity can be expected through the period with poor to moderate humidity recovery each night over the mountains and deserts. A trough of low pressure will approach the pacific northwest and northern California Tuesday and Wednesday which will bring an increase in wind over the Sierra, especially near Yosemite.

For More Information:
Fire information: gary_wuchner@nps.gov
Fire Information call center: (209) 372-0327; 372-0328; and, 372-0329.
For Yosemite air quality data and webcams: www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm
For smoke updates: www.californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com
Yosemite National Park Web page: http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm

Previous update: 

CA-YNP Yosemite N.P. Meadow Fire 4,933 Acres Burned 50% Containment (MAP)


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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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