YOSEMITE — Smoke visible to the north of the Oakhurst area in recent days is likely rising from the Lakes Fire in Yosemite National Park.
The Lakes Fire in the Chilnualna Lakes area, between Turner Meadow and Buena Vista Peak, is a lightning caused fire that is being managed by Yosemite fire officials for multiple objectives.
On Sept. 6, Yosemite Crew 1 personnel hiked into the fire, burning at approximately 8,000 ft. elevation, and reported it to be 280 acres.
The fire had previously spread to the area of the 1999 Chil Fire area and is now most active on the northwest and western edge of the perimeter. Smoke is visible from various locations within the park and surrounding area.
The Superintendent signed a trail closure effective Aug. 25, as the fire had crossed the trail along Chilnualna Creek. Please reference the trail segment marked on the map below.
Dangers posed in the immediate area of the fire include:
- Falling limbs, snags (dead standing trees), and fire damaged trees
- Possible smoky conditions which may cause respiratory problems
- Poor visibility due to smoke
- Hot ash and unseen hazards
The Lakes Fire was initially confirmed on July 7, when Crew 1 personnel responded to reports of smoke in the area. The fire is believed to be a lightning holdover from June 12.
Lightning fires are a natural occurrence and play a vital role in shaping this fire dependent ecosystem, say park officials.
“Each year, lightning strikes may result in multiple fires in Yosemite’s wilderness. By managing these fires for resource benefit, as opposed to suppressing them, we can ensure a healthier, more diverse and natural forest where future fires will burn with less intensity.”
Lakes Fire location — 37 35.6 x 119 33.6