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Hose line support on South Fork Fire - photo NPS

Update On The South Fork Fire Thursday 7 AM

YOSEMITE — The evacuation order for residents of the community of Wawona was lifted yesterday morning, and today at 7 a.m., the public was allowed to return.

The fire is now estimated at 4,188 acres and is 25 percent contained.

There are currently 422 personnel assigned to the incident including 8 hand crews, 5 helicopters and 10 engines. Some crews are being demobilized to return to their home units.

Last night’s infrared flight shows significant reduction in heat in the western half of the fire. The fire is still active in the portion north of the river.

Smoke continues to be dense in the valleys in and surrounding the Yosemite area, especially in the morning hours. Oakhurst and Mariposa are experiencing smoky conditions into the afternoon.

Poor air quality continue to be an issue in the park.

Firelines around the community of Wawona have been secured. The fire remains active in the northeast, and natural barriers are being utilized as much as possible in securing the fire’s edge in that area, where there is a lot of rocky terrain.

Crews continue to hit hot spots and secure lines in the southeast portion in an effort to halt the eastern spread of the fire.

Crews will continue to do mop-up and monitor the perimeter, and aircraft will assist in securing the line as needed, and as conditions allow after the inversion lifts.

Temperatures are predicted to be near normal and the threat of storms is greatly decreased for the rest of the week.

The incident is scheduled to transition from the South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team to a Type 3 organization on Friday, Aug. 25, at 6 a.m. The new team will continue to update the fire. For information about the South Fork Fire after today, call 209-379-1493 or email

For the rest of today, the live information phone number and email for the South Fork Fire will be answered at 209-379-5322, or email

All roads within the park remain open to travel.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The estimated date of containment is Sunday, Sept. 3.

As of 7 a.m. today, the following areas remain closed until further notice. We will update here if any of these are lifted today:

  • 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).
  • Off-trail areas in the vicinity are closed (i.e. all areas within the shaded circle on the map below).
  • All climbing routes on and around Wawona Dome are closed.
  • Bridalveil Creek Campground closed to accommodate firefighters.
  • Wawona trail (mule) rides are not operating.
  • Big Trees Golf Course is closed.
  • The Badger Pass-Glacier Point shuttle will not operate until further notice as the incident command post is occupying the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area facility and parking lot.
  • The Glacier Point Road will will remain open to the public however it will close periodically between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day when parking at Glacier Point fills to capacity (and will reopen when sufficient space is available). Traffic delays should be expected.
  • A voluntary ban on wood fires is in place in Yosemite Valley to reduce smoke. A mandatory ban may be instituted in the days to come.

For additional information:

Air quality links for Yosemite National Park:

Click here for a detailed IAP map.

Click here for a heat map.

Click here for interactive map.

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