YOSEMITE – The Meadow Fire in Yosemite has now grown to 4,434 acres with 5% containment, having progressed rapidly and in multiple directions. No structures have been damaged, and none are threatened.
There are currently 327 personnel assigned to the incident, and suppression costs are estimated at $100,000 to date.
The lightning-caused Meadow Fire started in mid-July, and is located within the designated wilderness of Yosemite National Park in the Little Yosemite Valley, between Half Dome and Mount Starr King, on both sides of the Merced River.
The fire spread significantly on Sept. 7 due to a wind event which occurred that day. Approximately 100 hikers and backpackers were evacuated from the fire area and an additional 85 hikers and climbers were evacuated by helicopter from the Summit of Half Dome, due to the rapid spread of the fire.
Helicopters from the California Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park and Cal Fire were utilized to affect the evacuations.
Firefighter and public safety remains the highest priority, while crews are being sensitive to environmental and cultural resources in and around the fire area. 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.
Click on maps to enlarge.
Fires of this magnitude can produce heavy smoke that blows down into Yosemite Valley. Smoke from the Meadows Fire will continue to impact visitors, campers and employees overnight and in the early morning hours in Yosemite Valley. For Yosemite air quality data and webcams: www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm. For smoke updates: www.californiasmokeinfo.blogspot.com.
Bridalveil Campground is currently closed to house firefighters for suppression efforts.
Recreation and businesses remain open in Yosemite National Park.
Features and facilities that are closed include Little Yosemite Valley, the John Muir Trail between Little Yosemite Valley and Long Meadow, all routes on Half Dome including the Cables, NW Regular Route, and Snake Dike. Also closed are Sunrise and Merced Lake High Sierra Camps and backpackers’ camps, along with the Sunrise Trail south of the Tenaya Lake Junction, Clouds Rest, Sunrise Lakes, Emeric Lake, and Babcock Lake.
Trail closures include the Mist, John Muir, and Panorama Trails to the top of Nevada Fall. Vogelsang Backpacker’s Camp is closed, along with the Tenaya Lake Trail between Vogelsang and the Merced Lake Ranger Station. Also closed are Echo Creek Drainage to Little Yosemite Valley, Sunrise Creek Drainage to Little Yosemite Valley, Merced River Corridor to Merced Lake Ranger Station, and Sunrise Trail to Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake.
Cooperating agencies working on the Meadow Fire include U.S. Forest Service, National Weather Service and California Conservation Corp.
Meadow Fire photo at top by Mirabai Breemer, Sept. 7 2014, taken from near Olmstead Point looking at Clouds Rest.