YOSEMITE – Residents of the community of Foresta will be allowed to return to their homes on Friday, Aug. 1, at 3 p.m. as the evacuation order is lifted.
Big Oak Flat Road and Highway 120 were reopened yesterday, so all major roads in the park are now open, though visitors are urged to call 209-372-0200 before traveling in the fire area as conditions may change.
The El Portal Fire, which began on July 26, continues to burn on the western edge of the park and on the Stanislaus National Forest. It is still being reported at 3,900 acres with 34% containment, and a total of 1,063 personnel assigned to the incident.
Fire officials report that an unstable air mass contributed to the fire’s movement one-half mile to the northwest overnight, with active fire behavior and spotting.
Crews will continue with mop-up and mitigation of hazards in the community of Foresta. They will be constructing direct and indirect line on the northwest and northeast portions of the fire, and doing mop up along the east and west boundaries.
Despite the winds out of the southwest, they anticipate that the fire could spread predominately to the north and northwest because of topography, potentially moving toward Moss Canyon.
Extremely steep and remote terrain continues to require heavy dependence on Type 1 Hand Crews (Hot Shots) and aviation assets.
The dry air mass that set up over the fire has contributed to active fire behavior today, and the threat of thunderstorms is being carefully monitored.
There have been three reports of injury to firefighters. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.