TUOLUMNE COUNTY – As the Rim Fire continues its advance to the north and east, over 15,000 of the 149,780 acres burned are inside Yosemite National Park, and new evacuation orders have been issued.
According to Park Superintendent Don Neubacher, most of the fire activity in Yosemite is near Cherry Lake, Lake Eleanor and the Hetch Hetchy area.
Fire crews are working hard to stop its advance on the Hodgdon Meadow area/Big Oak Flat Gate and Merced and Tuolumne Groves.
The fire is roughly one mile from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, three miles from Hodgdon Meadow, eight miles from White Wolf, and roughly 20 miles from Yosemite Valley.
The White Wolf area is currently being evacuated due to smoke impacts in the area. All services, including DNC operations and the White Wolf Campground, closed to the public on Sunday, Aug 25.
The Yosemite Creek Campground and the Tamarack Flat Campground are slowly being vacated as a precaution due to limited, and slow, ingress and egress from both campgrounds.
Highway 120 west of Crane Flat Campground and the Hetch Hetchy Road remain closed, and the Hodgdon Meadow area has been evacuated. The Merced and Tuolumne Groves are closed to the public to allow for continued fire suppression operations by fire crews. The groves are not in imminent danger, says Neubacher, however will remain closed as a precaution.
The park has closed a portion of the wilderness to backcountry travel. The closure includes the area west of Harden Lake/Pate Valley Trail, north from Pate Valley to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and continuing north along the PCT to Bond Pass. The Pacific Crest Trail remains open.
The Crane Flat Campground and Crane Flat store remain open. Tuolumne Meadows Campground remains open. Visitors can still travel through the park along the Tioga Road corridor; all facilities remain open.
The park has established a call center, in coordination and support of, the Rim Fire Incident Command Team. The call center is open daily from 7 AM to 10 PM. The number is: 209-372-0327 and 209-372-0329. Callers can leave a message if they call after hours.
“Employee and visitor safety is our number one priority and we will continue to do our best to keep you updated on the situation as it progresses,” says Neubacher.
For updated information on the fire, please visit or call 805-727-4775. Additionally, for updated Yosemite National Park road information call 209-372-0327 or 209-372-0329.
With 149,780 acres burned, the Rim Fire is now 15% contained. There are still 4,500 structures threatened with 23 destroyed.
Firefighters and equipment continue to arrive at various locations throughout the fire area, with the number of personnel swelling to 3,678. The cost to date of the suppression efforts is $20.1 million.
The Rim Fire was discovered on Aug. 17, and the cause is still under investigation.
The Rim Fire continues to burn on the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park, Bureau of Land Management and State responsibility land. It continues to be extremely active along the eastern and northeastern edge into Yosemite National Park. Aerial resources, including the DC-10s and MAFFS, are being utilized along the eastern edge.
Fire crews made significant progress yesterday and through the evening hours along the western edge and fire growth is expected to slow because of their efforts. The fire continues to grow toward the east and southeast resulting in an Evacuation Order and Evacuation Warnings yesterday.
Control lines for the southern perimeter have been constructed and firing operations will be conducted over the next few days as conditions allow. Crews continue to construct fire line where accessibility and safety allows.
The Stanislaus National Forest has issued an area closure for the entire Groveland Ranger District and for the Mi-Wok Ranger District east of Highway 108. Additional details are available from the Groveland Ranger District, 209-962-7825
Highway 120 remains closed to all inbound and outbound Yosemite National Park traffic to Crane Flat Campground. Highway 120 east/Tioga Road remains open. Also closed are Graham Ranch Road, Smith Station at Highway 120, Cherry Lake at Highway 120, and Evergreen Road. Highway 120 from Ferretti Road to Buck Meadows remains open only for local residents and business only.
A Mandatory Evacuation has been issued for residences north of Old Yosemite Road (Forest Road 2S01), and an Evacuation Warning has been issued for all residences north of Bull Creek Road (Forest Road 2S02), Bondurant Mine Road, Texas Hill Road, and Wampum Hill. An evacuation advisory has been issued for Tuolumne City and the area east of Highway 108 to Mi-Wok Village. Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Buck Meadows has been evacuated.
An evacuation center has been set up at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora.