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Expect Smoky Conditions During Wawona Burn

YOSEMITE – Yosemite National Park (YNP) Fire Managers are planning the first prescribed burn of the 2013 fire season in the southern portion of the park near the community of Wawona.

The 150 acre burn is scheduled to start on Thursday, Apr. 4, with the date subject to change depending on weather conditions, and is estimated to take approximately two weeks to complete.Smoke from the fire may be visible throughout the park, but may be more evident in the southern portion of the park along the Highway 41 corridor and near the communities of Wawona, Fish Camp and Yosemite West.

Smoke, affecting health, is always a consideration in the decision to schedule prescribed fires, says YNP spokesperson Scott Gediman. A smoke management plan has been submitted to the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District, and a burn permit will be issued prior to ignition. A smoke monitor will be placed in Wawona to monitor Yosemite’s air quality.

WawonaNW public map prescribed burn 4-13The prescribed fire is a collaborative effort between the National Park Service, Cal Fire, and the U.S. Forest Service.

The primary objective of the prescribed fire is to create defensible space for potential catastrophic wildfire that may approach the community of Wawona from the north and from the direction of the South Fork of the Merced River.

This project will also facilitate the reintroduction of fire into the ecosystem and restore the forest area. A combination of fuel reduction techniques have previously been utilized in the targeted area, including mechanical thinning, pile burning and prescribed burning.

The use of these techniques, in conjunction with previous natural fire events, including the 2007 lightning caused Jack Fire, will further reduce the likelihood of fire originating at lower elevations.

For more information on this specific prescribed burn or the fire program, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm.

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