YOSEMITE — The Empire Fire in Yosemite is now estimated at 412 acres. The lightning-cause fire was first reported on July 31.
It is burning in the wilderness area in a red fire forest, approximately one mile south of the Bridalveil Campground east of Alder Creek drainage and west of Bridalveil Creek drainage, and is being managed for both resource and protection objectives.
Fire behavior has been actively flanking and backing with some single and group tree torching. The fire has been burning in heavy pockets of dead and down timber reducing fuels build-up which increases forest resiliency, say park officials. Projected fire growth is expected in the northeast and southeast flanks.
Alder Creek trail has been closed at Bridalveil Campground to the junction of Deer Camp trail. Signs will be placed at the affected trails this morning. There are no threats to infrastructure at Bridalveil Campground and the remainder of hiking trails in the area remain open at this time.
Alder Creek, Deer Camp and Bridalveil Creek trails will continue to be assessed by fire crews. Future closures will be decided based on fire behavior. The fire is visible from the high country and may be seen from multiple viewpoints in the immediate area off Glacier Point Road.
Smoke will be seen in the fire area and in areas surrounding Yosemite National Park, and may impact the Bridalveil Campground. Fire Managers are working with the local Air Quality Districts and will continually be monitoring smoke impacts to the park and local communities. Community members who are sensitive to smoke may want to close their windows and doors and continually monitor the attached air quality links.
The Empire Fire is in a fire-adapted wilderness area. Allowing fires to burn naturally can result in a healthier, more diverse ecosystem, say park officials.
“Reducing fuel buildup minimizes the potential for future catastrophic fires. Although the current fire may have transient, moderate smoke impacts, more severe fires can cause unhealthy levels of smoke for extended periods, over a much wider area.”
Empire Fire locations: N 37° 38.673′ x W 119° 37.096′ at approximately 7300 feet elevation.
For additional Information:
Fire Information: Yose_Fire_Info@nps.gov
Yosemite National Park Fire Information website: http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm