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El Portal Fire Update July 30

YOSEMITE – The El Portal Fire has now grown to 3,600 acres and is 34% contained. There are currently 1,063 personnel assigned to the incident, and the cost to date of suppression efforts is estimated at $4,400,000.

Reports from fire officials note that the fire made a one-half to three-quarter mile run in the Crane Creek area today. Two small spots were detected in front of the head of the fire, and both have been lined and controlled.

Smoky conditions challenged the ability of air resources to be effective, with smoke on the northwest edge obscuring the view of the fire perimeter.

Thunderstorms have increased the threat of lightning, and poor relative humidity recovery above the thermal belt will lead to active fire behavior tonight. There was some wetting rain today on the Dark Hole Fire.

The community of Foresta remains under a mandatory evacuation order. High voltage transmission lines serving El Portal, Foresta, and Merced Sequoia Grove are still threatened. Crews continue to work on removing hazards in Foresta to allow for the safe return of residents to their homes.

Last evening there was active burning in the northwest area of the fire with single tree and group tree torching, and the remainder of the fire smoldering and creeping. Steep and rugged terrain is a major safety factor while also creating challenging situations for difficulty for firefighters.

The weather forecast calls for continued high temperatures reaching as high as 100 degrees near El Portal. These patterns will continue as a high pressure over the region remains stationary. Thunderstorm activity is predicted to remain to the north. Fire activity is expected to occur in the evening hours particularly in the north and northeast sections of the fire as a result of poor overnight relative humidity recovery.

All major roads in the Park are now open, but the situation is dynamic, so visitors are urged to call 209-372-0200 before traveling in the affected area.

Crane Flat, Yosemite Creek, and Bridalveil Creek Campgrounds remain closed. All other park campgrounds are open.

(Click map to enlarge)

El Portal fire map 1 7-30-14

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