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Crews Secure Lines Around Fish Camp On Railroad Fire

FISH CAMP – For the first time since the Railroad Fire started on Tuesday, there is significant black line on the fire map — meaning those parts of the perimeter are secure and can be noted as “contained.”

The fire is now estimated at 5,414 acres with 10 percent containment.

Crews continued to work the slop-over from Thursday night on the southwest corner of the fire near Miami Mountain Road.

Along the southern perimeter between Sugar Pine and Cedar Valley, two dozers worked through the night across about 10 miles of road system, all the way over to Sky Ranch Road.

The fireline from Westfall Ranger Station, up past the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad above Sugar Pine is now contained.

Most of the activity continues to be on the northeast corner of the fire between Buffin Meadow and Long Meadow. There were some significant spot fires there last night, and the day shift will continue to work those spots.

Two Hot Shot Crews and a Cal Fire Strike Team set up a spike camp in that area last night, and began burnout operations this morning to remove fuels from inside containment lines.

The fire began pushing into Nelder Grove late yesterday. We will update on that situation later today.

The line is secure and contained from the Tenaya Lodge west, around Fish Camp and about halfway down the west flank. Structure protection was in place in Fish Camp overnight, and no issues were reported.

Air Operations has requested two VLATs, four Type 1s and five Type 3 air tankers today. There are five Type 2 helicopters working the fire.

Temperatures are expected to be even hotter today than yesterday, climbing into the mid to upper 90s on the fireline, and well into triple digits at the Incident Command Post.

Relative humidity will drop into the teens again today, with readings reported in the single digits yesterday. Conditions continue to be dangerously hot and dry.

Winds will pick up in the afternoon, gusting up to 20 mph later on exposed ridgetops. Easterly winds are forecast to push the smoke to the west.

Additional resources continue to arrive on the fire, and there are now 590 personnel assigned to the incident.

The biggest question for many is “when can I go home?” And when will Highway 41 reopen.

There are still very real dangers to both firefighters and the public inside the fire’s perimeter. Caltrans and contractors continue to remove hazard trees, PG&E crews are replacing and resetting power poles, and Sierra Tel is repairing their infrastructure.

It will be 24-48 hours until fire officials can consider a plan for repopulation and reopening Highway 41. People are asked to be patient and understand the very hazardous situation that still exists.

Closures and evacuations on the Railroad Fire:

There is a mandatory evacuation order for Big Sandy Campground and Summerdale Campground.

Sky Ranch is under an evacuation advisory from Highway 41 to Buckskin Lane. The road is closed beyond that point, including Soquel and Texas Flat campgrounds, Nelder Grove and Calvin Crest.

The road closure on Highway 41 northbound is at Cedar Valley about three miles north of Oakhurst, and southbound inside Yosemite National Park at Wawona. Yosemite visitors should use Highway 49 to Highway 140 or 120 for entrance to the National Park.

Road closures include all Highway 41 offshoots between Cedar Valley Road and Summerdale Campground in both Madera County and Mariposa County, and Road 630 (Sugar Pine Road) and all cross streets, including Sugar Pine Christian Camps.

Jackson Road (6S07) is closed from Fish Camp to Beasore Road.

A mandatory evacuation is in place for the the community of Fish Camp, the Tenaya Lodge, the Narrow Gauge Inn, the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, the community of Sugar Pine including the Christian Camp, and all homes and businesses in the immediate vicinity. Evacuations also run north from Fish Camp to the Summerdale Campground.

Also closed are these Forest roads:

  • Road 632 at Buckskin Lane
  • Forest Road 6S13 at Road 274
  • Forest Road 6S40 at Beasore Road
  • Forest Road 6S08 at 6S36
  • Forest Road 5S39 at 5S90
  • Forest Road 5S40Y at Beasore Road.

The community of Wawona is being warned of the possible threat potential from this fire. Residents and visitors are encouraged to make appropriate pre-evacuation preparations.

The Red Cross Evacuation Center at the Oakhurst Community Center has been closed down due to lack of need, as has the one in Yosemite Valley. However, they are on standby and prepared to get back up and running again within two hours.

“Just because we’re closed doesn’t mean we’ve left,” says Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Katrina Poitras. “You can still call, and we will provide assistance, or connect you with other resources who can help you.”

The hot line number for the Red Cross is 559-343-2549.

The Central California Animal Disaster Team has activated a small animal shelter at the Oakhurst Community Center Pavillion Building. Small animals can also be sheltered at the Mariposa SPCA, 5599 Highway 49 in Mariposa. The phone number is 209-966-5275. Large animals can be sheltered at the Coarsegold Rodeo Grounds, at 44777 Rodeo Grounds Lane in Coarsegold. The phone number is 559-676-7864.

All roads past Wawona inside Yosemite are open, except Glacier Point Road, which was closed on Sunday due to increased fire activity on the Empire Fire.

For fire updates, residents and visitors can message RAILROADFIRE (one word) to 888777.

A fire information line has been established for the Railroad Fire at 559-373-0040.

The Railroad Fire was reported at 12:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29, just south of the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad on the west side of Highway 41. It is burning on the Bass Lake Ranger District of the Sierra National Forest.

The estimated date for containment is Friday, Sept. 8.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

To view the map below on a website where you can zoom in and out, click here.

For those of you who want all the details, click here for the 3-page operations map.

(Please ignore the solid red line in the center of the map – it is an anomaly, a glitch in the printing process).

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