YOSEMITE – The Meadow Fire, which is reported to have started with a lightning strike on July 20, has been creeping and smouldering in the Little Yosemite Valley for 49 days.
But just after noon today, it apparently came to life and has now grown to over 700 acres.
It is not known at this time if this is a new spot fire, or if it is part of the same incident, according to Park Service information. Smoke from the fire can be seen from the Central Valley and all across the mountain area.
The Meadow fire was estimated at 400 acres at 2:30 p.m., and by 8 p.m. tonight, it was reported to have grown to 700 acres. The fire is burning in the Yosemite Wilderness on both sides of the Merced river in the Little Yosemite Valley (LYV).
Approximately 100 hikers were evacuated from the top of Half Dome, Little Yosemite Valley, and surrounding trails, via helicopter. There are no reported injuries or structures affected by the wildfire. The High Sierra Camps were seasonally closed today.
Throughout the afternoon, 7 helicopters, an airplane, and ground crews worked to extinguish the fire. The area, at 7,000 feet in elevation, features rugged terrain. Ground access requires a several mile hike to the area affected by the fire.
Yosemite National Park firefighters are working with fire crews from Cal Fire, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, Mariposa County Fire, California Highway Patrol, and U.S. Forest Service. There are over 100 firefighters dedicated to the fire, with more resources enroute.
Yosemite National Park and all facilities within Yosemite Valley remain open. Trails near the Half Dome area, the Little Yosemite Valley area (a backcountry camping area near Half Dome), Merced Lake and Sunrise High Sierra Camps, Clouds Rest, and Echo Valley are closed due to fire activity. All roads leading into Yosemite remain open as well.
Visitors are urged to check the park’s website to get updated information in the smoke impacts to Yosemite National Park. Updated information can be found at www.nps.gov/yose.
All trails in the area are closed. Approximately 100 hikers and backpackers have been evacuated.
- 4 Type 1(heavy helicopters),
- 3 Type 2 (medium helicopters)
- 1 Air Attack
- 3 Air Tankers
- Yosemite fire crews
- 6 Hot Shot crews
- Echo Creek Drainage to LYV
- Sunrise Creek Drainage to LYV (John Muir Trail)
- Merced River Corridor to Merced Lake Ranger Station
- Nevada Falls east through LYV along the Merced River corridor.
- Sunrise trail to Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake
As with any fire incident in Yosemite National Park, firefighter and public safety is the number one priority.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.