From Don Neubacher, Superintendent, Yosemite National Park
YOSEMITE – I wanted to provide an update with some encouraging news on the Rim Fire suppression and restoration efforts.
It has been nearly four weeks since the fire started and in that time it has burned 255,560 acres, 77,919 acres of which are in Yosemite National Park.
The fire is currently 80% contained and the Type 1 Incident Command Team hopes for full containment around Sept. 20.
This week, Crane Flat Campground and the Big Oak Flat Entrance Stations both reopened and residents have been able to return to the Hodgdon Meadow area.
Though the fire is not fully contained, the fire suppression and recovery situation continues to improve.
On the suppression front, there are over 2,700 resources on the fire. Firefighting crews in the park are finalizing lines on the eastern perimeter in the areas west of White Wolf and the Tioga Road.
The firing operations along Tioga Road have been completed; in some areas, teams are using sprinklers to cool the fuels and teams are working on cleaning up hazardous trees along the corridor.
Looking forward, the Incident Command Team has started to plan for fire suppression repair and restoration efforts. An NPS BAER Team (Burn Area Emergency Response) arrived this week and has begun an assessment of fire impacted resources. That team will also help Yosemite develop a rehabilitation plan to mitigate damages.
For visitors to Yosemite Valley, the air quality is currently rated as satisfactory level and poses little or no health risk.
Still closed are: the Tuolumne and Merced Sequoia Groves, Hodgdon Meadow Campground, Tamarack Flat Campground, and Yosemite Creek Campground. The Tioga Road from Crane Flat to 1 ½ miles east of White Wolf remains closed and will remain closed at least through this weekend.
Services and amenities at Tuolumne Meadows remain open. Visitors can access the Tuolumne Meadow area from Highway 395 via Tioga Pass. We are working with the fire Incident Management Team to safely reopen these areas, some possibly in the coming week.
Thank you everyone for your continued support as Yosemite works through this fire. We will get through this together.
– Don L. Neubacher, on behalf of the ELT
Reposted from the Yosemite Daily Report on September 12