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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

CA-YNP Yosemite National Park Soup Bowl Prescribed Fire [MAP]

CA-YNP SOUPBOWL UNITS 2 & 3 - YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK - PRESCRIBED FIRE

Soup bowl Prescribed FireMay 31, 2016

Yosemite National Park 2016 Planned Prescribed Fire May 31, 2016
Yosemite National Park fire managers are planning the 175 acre Soupbowl Prescribed Fire, Units 2 and 3, on May 31, 2016. Fire managers will wait for favorable weather conditions to begin the prescribe fire. Ignition will take 2 to 3 days and an additional 1 week of active burn down.
The primary objective is to reduce hazardous fuels within the mixed conifer forest adjacent to the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) community of Wawona, park infrastructures at the south entrance station and the Mariposa Grove of Sequoias.  This project creates a continuous area of reduced fuel by linking together multiple previous fires and treatments, and mechanical thinning along the Wawona Road.
A secondary objective is ecosystem restoration.  Applying fire under prescribed conditions mimics the frequent, low-intensity lightning caused fires that occurred in Sierras prior to the exclusion of fire which began over 100 years ago under aggressive fire suppression policies. Historically, natural fires burned an average of 16,000 acres annually in Yosemite and played an integral role in shaping Yosemite’s ecosystems.  In the absence of frequent fire, unnatural levels of forest biomass have accumulated which has put many of Yosemite’s values at risk, including neighboring communities, and natural and cultural features.  As climate changes, these values become increasingly vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire.
Park employees, community members, and visitors can expect to see crews from various federal and state agencies conducting burn operations during the Soupbowl Prescribed Fire.  

Smoke will be present during the prescribed fire, particularly during late evening and early morning hours.  Fire managers are working with the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District (MCAPCD) to time the project to coincide with favorable weather that will facilitate good air quality, and disperse smoke into the atmosphere away from the community.  Prior to ignition, a burn permit is issued to the park by MCAPCD and smoke monitoring equipment was installed in the community.  Community members who are sensitive to smoke may want to close their windows and doors and/or consider leaving the area during active ignition of the project in order to reduce their exposure.
  
For additional Information
Fire Information: gary_wuchner@nps.gov; 209.372-0459; and nancy_phillipe@nps.gov, 209.379.1188.

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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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