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Meadow Fire Now 80% Contained

YOSEMITE – The Meadow Fire, burning in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park is now 4,772 acres and 80% contained.

All roads and visitor facilities in the park remain open. There are currently 328 personnel assigned to the incident and two injuries have been reported. Estimated date for containment is Sept. 21. The suppressions costs to date are $4.9 million.

The Meadow 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.

In Yosemite National Park, fire managers operate within the federal guidelines to assess new naturally caused fires, 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.

Recreation and businesses remain open in the Yosemite National Park except trail areas listed below.

Fire Update

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 indicates numerous isolated heat sources within the fires perimeter. Crews will continue to patrol and mop up hot spots near containment lines. Air quality continues to increase as fuels are consumed.

Due to the extremely steep, rugged and inaccessible terrain, some fire crews will remain spiked in the wilderness to continue suppression and mop up efforts.

Fire crews were very successful with their efforts to utilize Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (M.I.S.T.). Fire crews utilized natural barriers such as, rock to rock, rock to domes, decomposed granite (DG) to sparse fuels to confine and contain the fire. Crews continue to work hard in maintaining natural habitat in the wilderness and are diligently working to limit the foot print the suppression effort may cause.

The South Central Interagency Incident Management Team transitioned the management of the fire back to the Yosemite National Park Type 3 Incident Management.

The trail to Half Dome via Little Yosemite Valley is open to day-use only. No overnight camping in any areas impacted by the fire is permitted.

The fire continues to effect popular hiking areas in Yosemite National Park and trail closures still remain in effect.

Smoke from the Meadows Fire could 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.

Trail Closures

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):

  • Little Yosemite Valley (closed to overnight use)
  • The John Muir Trail between Little Yosemite Valley and Sunrise High Sierra Camp
  • Sunrise and Merced Lake High Sierra Camps and backpackers’ camps
  • The Sunrise Trail south of the Tenaya Lake Trail Junction
  • Clouds Rest and Sunrise Lakes

Cooperating agencies include the U.S. Forest Service, National Weather Service and California Conservation Corp.

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