TUOLUMNE COUNTY – The Rim Fire has now grown to 125,620 with just 5% containment. Crews continued to arrive throughout the day, with the number of personnel assigned to the incident now reaching 2,672.
Throughout the day, trees were crowning, the fire was running along the surface of the ground, and the torching of trees sent sparks out ahead of the fire, causing numerous spot fires. The fire has spread west of Paper Cabin Ridge and prompted evacuation advisories to be issued to Tuolumne City and nearby areas along the Highway 108 corridor.
Crews continue to prepare to defend structures in the area, and access in the rugged terrain, combined with the very dry fuels, poses quite a challenge for crews and equipment.
The rapid growth of the fire and extreme fire behavior are drastically hampering suppression efforts. Air tankers are dropping retardant ahead of the fire, prepping locations in advance of the flames as the fire spreads towards the Highway 108 corridor.
The very high potential for long range spotting is creating a significant problem, as managers worry that the fire may advance beyond the retardant lines and spread into the communities of Tuolumne City, Twain Harte and Long Barn.
Approximately 4,500 structures are threatened as the fire continues its eastward spread. It is now well into the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park.
Preparations for additional Base Camps and Spike Camps are in progress to cut down on travel time for firefighters and to limit exposure for the safety of firefighting resources.
The Southern Area IMT1 Blue Team (Wilkins) assumed command of the fire at 6 a.m. on Aug. 23, and continues unified command with Cal Fire.