YOSEMITE – The El Portal Fire, which started a week ago today, is now estimated at 4,689 acres with 78% containment.
The fire remained active throughout the night, and crews worked to mop up, strengthen, and hold the containment line. Today they will continue to cool hot spots within 300 feet of the fire’s edge.
Where appropriate, repair operations will begin in areas impacted by the suppression effort. Crews will install waterbars, brush out and eliminate firelines and dozer lines, reseed with native grasses, and take other measures to reduce the potential of further damage from erosion.
A spike camp will be established at Drew Meadow, and some crews will report there after today’s shift. This site will allow easier access and shorter travel times to the fire area. The release of nonessential crews and equipment will begin today as activity winds down on the fire. Many resources will be reassigned to other fires in the region.
The community of Foresta is now open to residents as well as the general public.
The El Portal Fire is producing some smoke as interior portions continue to burn, but most of the visible smoke is from the French Fire to the south.
The weather is expected to become hotter and drier through the weekend, which could increase fire activity. Smoke will be visible as large fuels continue to burn out, but these pose no threat to the fireline.
There are currently 1,341 personnel assigned to the incident, and the estimated cost of suppression efforts to date is $8 million.
Information Phones: El Portal Fire Call Center is open from 7 a.m.. to 9 p.m. every day: (209) 372-0327, (209) 372-0328, and (209) 372-0329.
Smoke sensitive individuals such as elders, children, pregnant women, and people with heart or lung disease are vulnerable to the adverse health effects of smoke. Please avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activity. You may consider leaving the area until smoke levels decline. Please consult your healthcare provider to discuss protective measures. For more information, visit one of the following websites:
For health effects of smoke: www.mariposacounty.org/index.aspx?NID=89
For Yosemite air quality: www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm
For smoke updates: www.californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com