MARIPOSA COUNTY – Firefighters are on scene of a large fire burning along Highway 140 between the Ferguson Slide and Cedar Lodge on the Sierra National Forest, just west of the El Portal entrance to Yosemite National Park.
As of 10 p.m., Highway 140 has been closed eastbound at the Bug Hostel west of Briceburg, and westbound at Cedar Lodge (see map below). Exact location from D.O.T – from 2.7 miles east of Midpines to 3.5 miles west of Incline.
At about 9 p.m., a battalion chief reported the fire at about 100 acres, 1/4 mile east of Savage Trading Post on the south side of the road.
Though a full wildland dispatch had been called out, he requested 4 more dozers, 6 more ground crews and three additional Type 3 Strike Teams (15 engines).
Units are en route from Tuolumne Calaveras Unit, Fresno Kings Unit and Miramonte. Most incoming engine crews will provide cover for local stations that have already sent their firefighters to the incident, and will report for day shift in the morning.
The fire is burning in steep terrain, limiting access for dozers and engines. There are structures threatened. The fire poses the threat of becoming a major incident depending on wind and resources.
Pre-evacuation warnings have been issued for Savage’s and Cedar Lodge.
PG&E is en route due to power lines in the area, and just before 11 p.m., the incident commander request that power lines be deenergized due to the danger posed to firefighters. That would affect Yosemite, so they need to be notified.
The fire is burning in the footprint of the Motor Fire that burned through the area in 2011. It is reported to be just around the corner from Savage’s and burning south toward Hites Cove.
A later report estimated the size at about 60 acres. Either way, fire officials are taking this very seriously and putting all available resources en route.
Cal Fire is currently managing the incident, but will be in unified command with the Sierra National Forest.
An Incident Command Post has been established at Savage’s.
We will update here as conditions develop.