YOSEMITE – The Meadow Fire has now burned 4,906 acres with 23% containment. No structures have been damaged, and none are threatened. There are currently 556 personnel assigned to the incident, and suppression costs are estimated at $1.8 million to date.
Recreation and businesses remain open in Yosemite National Park except trail areas listed below.
No injuries have been reported.
The fire is located within the designated wilderness of 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 estimated containment date is Sept. 21.
Maps shown are dated Sept. 9. Click on images to enlarge.
Infrared light on the night of Wednesday, Sept. 10 showed intense heat and hot areas around the north and southeast areas of the fire. Overall, infrared indicates there are still pockets of intense heat scattered through the fire. Due to increased temperatures and low relative humidity, spots outside the current fires perimeter are expected to flare.
Authorities believe the Meadow Fire started with a lightning strike on July 19, and spread significantly due to a wind event which occurred on Sunday, Sept. 7.
Approximately 100 hikers and backpackers were evacuated from the fire area on Sept. 7, 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 remain the highest priority, while crews remain 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 nine 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 (MIST), confining and containing the naturally-caused fire by utilizing natural barriers including rock to rock, rock to domes, and decomposed granite (DG) to sparse fuels. Crews are working hard to maintain natural habitat in the wilderness.
Smoke from the Meadow Fire will continue to impact visitors, campers and employees overnight and in the early morning hours in Yosemite Valley. Fires of this magnitude can produce heavy smoke that blows down into Yosemite Valley, so visitors should be prepared for smoke in the unhealthy AQI range, normally worse in the mornings with some clearing in the afternoon hours.
Cooperating agencies include U.S. Forest Service, National Weather Service and California Conservation Corp.
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.
Meadow Fire photo by Mirabai Breemer, Sept. 7. Taken near Olmstead Point looking at Clouds Rest.
Echo Creek Drainage to Little Yosemite Valley
Sunrise Creek Drainage to Little Yosemite Valley
Merced River Corridor to Merced Lake Ranger Station
Nevada Fall east through Little Yosemite Valley along the Merced River
Sunrise Trail to Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake