YOSEMITE — At 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 11, Yosemite Fire and Aviation started ignition on the Soupbowl Prescribed Fire Unit between the South Entrance to Yosemite National Park and the community of Wawona.
At 9 p.m., operations were shut down due to mixed rain and snow. Burn conditions were good leading up to the weather event, and 5-10 acres of blackline was complete along the Wawona Road (State Highway 41 Extension).
Today National Park Service and Mariposa County Fire resources on scene will be doing mop-up and securing the burn perimeter. Fire personnel will be patrolling the roadside for hazard trees and any fire burning in cat-faces (openings created by past fire in the lower portion of a tree).
Traffic control personnel will be on scene and in place. At this time both traffic lanes will remain open along the burn perimeter unless issues arise. Please use caution while driving in the area and slow down for firefighter safety.
The primary objective of the project is to reduce hazardous vegetation (fuel) around the Wildland Urban Interface community of Wawona, burning 2-3 segments ranging from 103 acres to 174 acres.
This project is also intended to help protect park infrastructure at the South Entrance station and reduce the threat of wildfires originating along Highway 41 that could adversely impact the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. It would help create a continuous fuel break between the community of Wawona and the south entrance of the park linking other burn areas, mechanical thinning projects, and previous prescribed fires.
Another objective of the Soupbowl prescribed fire is ecosystem restoration. Over 100 years ago, aggressive fire suppression policies resulted in fire exclusion across conifer forests throughout the Sierra Nevada Range, say Yosemite park officials.
A warming and drying trend will occur this week with temperatures well above normal by Thursday. A high pressure ridge will be setting in through the weekend making air quality marginal by Thursday. Smoke will be present along the road and fire management will continue to monitor throughout the week.
There are no planned ignitions for the rest of the week. Resources will continue to secure what was burned last night and look for another burn window throughout the summer.
For additional Information:
Fire Information: Yose_Fire_Info@nps.gov
Yosemite National Park Fire Information website: http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm
(Source: Yosemite Daily Report)