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Yosemite fires September 2018 - photo NPS

Four Wildfires Still Burning In Yosemite Wilderness Areas

YOSEMITE – As we move into the fall season, we are reminded that though temperature may be cooling down, fire season is not over.

There are currently four fires still burning in Yosemite National Park’s wilderness. While hiking trails and sitting at vistas throughout the park, visitors may see smoke in some of these areas and are reminded that wildfires, when caused by lightning, are a natural phenomenon on the landscape.

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are currently in place inside the park, and will remain so until further notice. Fires are only permitted in portable stoves using pressurized gas, liquid fuel, propane or alcohol (including tablet/cube stoves). Wood fires (including twig stove fires) and charcoal fires are prohibited.

Smoking is not allowed except in campgrounds, picnic areas, paved developed areas, and buildings in which smoking is normally allowed. Fireworks are always prohibited in Yosemite.

Current fires in Yosemite:

Rancheria Fire
Discovery Date: Sept. 18, 2018
Location: North end of Rancheria Mountain in Yosemite’s Wilderness
Size: 18.2 acres
Status: Active
Strategy: Early planning phase, planned action to insert crew for detailed assessment.
Comments: Lightning-caused. The fire is creeping though dead and down ground fuels in red fir. The spread is mostly north and southwest following vegetation pockets. There are some natural barriers including very green vegetation, rock outcroppings, and changes in vegetation. Smoke production has been very light with some overnight accumulation in the Tuolumne River canyon. Fire crews are on scene assessing fuels and spread potential as well as impacts to trails in the area.

Indian Fire
Discovery Date: Sept. 4, 2018
Location: Near Porcupine Campground in Yosemite’s Wilderness
Size: 10.6 acres
Status: Active
Strategy: Monitor
Comments: Lightning-caused. Growth continues to be slow to the south and is backing downhill and along rocky ridges. Fire behavior is smoldering and creeping in red fir. This fire is surrounded by many natural barriers and rock bands. Fire crews are monitoring daily with easy access off Tioga Road. Smoke may occasionally be seen from Porcupine Campground and view points above Yosemite Creek.

Unicorn Fire
Discovery Date: July 28, 2018
Location: Unicorn Peak Area in Yosemite’s Wilderness
Size: 2.6 acres
Status: Active
Strategy: Occasional patrol with very low spread.
Comments: Lightning strike start at 9,500 feet in elevation. Smoke may be visible from Tuolumne Meadows.

Chain Lakes Fire
Discovery Date: Sept. 9, 2018
Location: Near Chain Lakes in Yosemite’s Wilderness
Size: .10 acres
Status: Active
Strategy: Suppression tactics, crews will continue to mop up and monitor.
Comments: Human-caused.

For more information on the Yosemite National Park Fire Updates page visit

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