YOSEMITE – The Meadow Fire in Yosemite has now burned 4,933 acres and firefighters have gained 50% containment. No structures have been damaged or destroyed.
There are currently 570 personnel assigned to the incident which was started by a lightning strike in mid-July and has cost $2.58 million for suppression efforts to date.
No injuries have been reported. The date for total containment is estimated on Sept. 21.
In Yosemite National Park, fire managers operate within the federal guidelines to keep fires burning long enough to determine the threat or benefit the fire may or may not have on the parks ecology.
Most fires within the Yosemite National Park naturally burn themselves out. Only a small number of fires show potential for large fire growth and fire suppression action is needed to mitigate the threat to resources. Fire is an important component to the health of the parks sensitive ecology.
The Fire is located within the designated wilderness of the Yosemite National Park in Mariposa County and is currently within Little Yosemite Valley between Half Dome and Mount Starr King on both sides of the Merced River.
The fire spread significantly due to a wind event which occurred on Sept. 7.
Recreation and businesses remain open in the Yosemite National Park except trail areas listed below.
Firefighter and public safety remains the highest priority. Fire crews are being sensitive to environmental and cultural resources in and around the fire area.
Last night’s infrared flight shows a few acres growth in the fire to the southwest, but otherwise there was minimal perimeter growth. Intense heat still remains along the east flank. There is still isolated heat sources scattered throughout the fire.
Due to the extremely steep, rugged and inaccessible terrain, some fire crews are being flown into the area by helicopter. Air resources, including eight helicopters are being utilized along the fire-line to slow the forward progress of the fire and to cool down hot spots. Due to the potential fire growth and extensive amount of work which remains, a high commitment of resources will be required.
Fire crews are using Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (M.I.S.T). Fire crews are confining and containing the naturally caused fire by utilizing natural barriers such as, rock to rock, rock to domes, decomposed granite (DG) to sparse fuels. Crews are working hard to maintain natural habitat in the wilderness and working diligently to limit the foot print the suppression effort may cause.
The fire continues to burn through popular hiking areas in Yosemite National Park and trail closures still remain in effect. The Half Dome cables will be reopened on Saturday, Sept. 13.
Smoke from the Meadows Fire will continue to impact visitors, campers and employees overnight and in the early morning hours in Yosemite Valley.
Fires can produce heavy smoke that blows down into Yosemite Valley. Be prepared for smoke in the unhealthy AQI range normally worse in the mornings with some clearing in the afternoon hours.
Information for schools can be found on this site and links to current air quality updates for this incident will be posted on the California Smoke Information blog.
By order of the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park and under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1.5(a) and Section (a)(1):
Echo Creek Drainage to Little Yosemite Valley
Sunrise Creek Drainage to Little Yosemite Valley
Merced River Corridor to Merced Lake Ranger Station
Nevada Falls east through Little Yosemite Valley along the Merced River
Sunrise Trail to Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake