YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK–Yosemite Fire and Aviation plans to begin ignitions on a 120-acre prescribed burn in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park on Tuesday, June 20th. Two days of live firing operations followed by multiple days of patrol and mop-up for this prescribed burn are planned.
This burn has been canceled due to predicted winds.
Prescribed burns like this one are performed frequently in the grove to promote sequoia regeneration and reduce heavy accumulations of vegetation. This reduction provides defensible space and significantly lessens the risk and impact of unplanned ignitions in and around the grove during the hot and dry summer season.
One example of how prescribed burns promote sequoia regeneration is shown in the picture below. The Sequoia cone on the left was not part of Yosemite Fire’s prescribed burn in the Mariposa Grove.
The cone on the right was – and since Sequoia cones are semi-serotinous (fire- or heat-triggered), this cone’s seeds are more exposed and able to disperse. Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem in Yosemite.
The Mariposa Grove’s shuttle service will be suspended, and the Mariposa Grove Road closed to foot traffic during some of the active firing operations due to safety concerns. During this time, the Washburn Trail will remain open to provide visitor hiking access to the grove. Visitors hiking the Washburn Trail may see active fire, smoke, firefighters, and firefighting equipment along the main road into the grove. The road will reopen when it is safe to do so.
Smoke will be visible in some parts of the Mariposa Grove during and after burning operations. Air quality information can be found online at https://fire.airnow.gov/
Yosemite Fire Information