YOSEMITE – Yosemite National Park Fire Managers are planning a prescribed fire in Yosemite Valley in the Taft Toe Area. The burn will start in mid-October and is dependent on weather conditions.
Although it is a dry year, Yosemite Valley recently received one inch of rain, and Taft Toe burn area fuel moistures are within prescribed fire parameters.
The burn area is located along Southside Drive between El Capitan Bridge and the Sentinel Beach Picnic Area. The total prescribed burn will include 111 acres and is expected to last two to three days.
The primary objective of the prescribed fire is to reduce the accumulation of small diameter mixed conifer trees and reduce excessive dead and down woody debris. It will also reduce the amount of fuel build-up, which enables fire to reach the tops of mature trees and threaten mature California black oak trees and saplings.
A combination of fuel reduction techniques will occur prior to the scheduled fire, including mechanical thinning in order to create more open forest stands and recreate vistas that have long been overgrown by the dense forest.
Smoke from the fire may be visible throughout the park, but may be more evident in Yosemite Valley, Foresta, and the El Portal area. Smoke, affecting health, is always a consideration in the decision to schedule prescribed fires. A smoke management plan has been submitted to the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District, and a burn permit will be issued prior to ignition. A smoke monitor will be placed in nearby communities to monitor smoke.
For more information on this specific prescribed burn, or Yosemite’s fire program, please visit: http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm