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Burning operations on South Fork Fire - photo NPS

Update On The South Fork Fire Near Wawona

YOSEMITE — While the threat to the community of Wawona from the South Fork Fire has been mitigated, residents and visitors are being told to make pre-evacuation plans in case the Railroad Fire continues its march north.

The South Fork Fire is now estimated at 5,191 acres with 44 percent containment. There are currently 101 personnel assigned to the incident.

The fire continues to be active on the north and east flanks. The north flank of the fire has been most active in recent days as it burned into heavy pockets of fuel. The south and west flanks are contained, though some smoke will be visible as logs and brush burn in the interior.

Crews will continue to patrol and monitor the flanks closest to the community of Wawona and Mariposa Grove, and are focused on containment strategies on the northwest edge, and keeping the fire south and southeast of Chilnualna Creek.

The north and east sections of the fire continue to burn in the wilderness, and will be monitored by aircraft due to inaccessible and steep terrain. As the fire moves farther into the high country it will hit some pockets of heavy vegetation with little fire history, but is expected to slow down with natural granite barriers and sparse vegetation which will limit smoke production.

Repair and rehabilitation have begun within the Yosemite Wilderness.

Smoke and poor air quality continue to be an issue in the park, and the impact of dense smoke has increased over the past 48 hours with the heightened fire activity on the Empire Fire, which is burning near Bridalveil Creek, and the Railroad Fire which started yesterday and is burning south and east of Fish Camp.

Temperatures are expected to become hotter and drier, with low humidity.

The Yosemite National Park Type 3 Incident Management Team has assumed command of the fire. For more information about the South Fork Fire, call 209-379-1493 or email yose_fire_info@nps.gov.

The following trail and area closures are in place until further notice:

  • The Swinging Bridge Trail on both the north and south sides of the South Fork of the Merced River.
  • The Chilnualna Falls Trail from Wawona Trailhead to the top of Chilnualna Falls.
  • The two mile connecting trail heading north from the top of Chilnualna Falls to the intersection of the Buena Vista Trail.
  • The Chilnualna Creek Trail from the top of Chilnualna Falls east to the intersection of the Buena Vista and Buck Camp trails (Just east of Johnson Lake).
  • Turner Meadow Trail
  • Turner Meadow intersection east to Buena Vista trail
  • Off-trail areas in the vicinity of the South Fork Fire Area, including the swimming holes north of Chilnualna Creek.
  • All climbing routes on and around Wawona Dome are closed.

Wawona Campground is open to the public.

Click here for information on the Railroad Fire.

For more on the Empire Fire, burning to the north of the South Fork Fire, click the article below.

Activity Increases On Empire Fire, Glacier Point Road Closes

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