YOSEMITE – Firefighters made good progress today on the El Portal Fire. Though it grew in size to 4,198 acres, it is now 58% contained.
Firing operations started today and will continue tonight along the northwestern fire perimeter. On the lower half of the fire, crews began to do mop up and patrol, and backhaul equipment. They will continue these operations throughout the night.
Fire officials say that the fire exhibited moderate fire behavior under more favorable weather conditions, allowing for successful firing operations. Air resources were used to pretreat fuels with water and retardant to prevent the establishment of spot fires as burnouts were conducted.
Low relative humidity is allowing the fire to burn longer into the evening hours at the higher elevations.
The evacuation order for the community of Foresta will be lifted at 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 1, and residents will be allowed to return to their homes. The Merced Sequoia Grove is still being threatened. All major roads in Yosemite are open.
There are currently 1,194 personnel assigned to the incident, and the estimated cost for suppression efforts to date is $5,700,000.
Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with heart or lung disease, including asthma, are more vulnerable to the adverse health effects of smoke from wildfires. If heavy smoke is present, vulnerable people should take precautions and avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor activity. The effects of smoke can change quickly, so sensitive or at-risk individuals might consider leaving the area when a long-duration smoky wildfire is forecast; they should consult their healthcare provider to determine appropriate protective measures to take. For information visit the following website:
For health effects of wildland fire smoke visit www.mariposacounty.org/index.aspx?NID=89.
For Yosemite air quality visit www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/aqmonitoring.htm.
Information Phones: El Portal Fire Call Center is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day: (209) 372-0327, (209) 372-0328, and (209) 372-0329.