YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK–The Washburn Fire has been burning since July 7th, 2022, in Yosemite National Park (YNP) near the Mariposa Grove. The fire is currently 4,856 acres and 58% contained. There is 1330 total personnel on the fire. Wawona Road (continuation of Highway 41 into Yosemite) between the South Entrance and Yosemite Valley will tentatively reopen to visitors on Saturday, July 23, at 6 am. Helpful links are available at the end of the article.
Successful suppression actions have resulted in diminished fire behavior on all portions of the fire. The fire continues to burn in heavy dead and down timber fuels on the eastern portion of the fire within constructed lines. A very persistent warm and dry weather pattern continues to support the potential of active-to-very active fire behavior today. The primary area of fire behavior focus includes the south fork of the Merced River upstream to the Iron Creek and Johnson Creek areas where most of the current activity is occurring.
Today’s video update is available here.
A continuation of warm and dry weather will produce the potential for active fire behavior during the next few days, with the burning conditions extending into the evening due to poor relative humidity recovery on higher terrain. Generally light winds will produce pockets of isolated backing fire on slopes with flanking, and isolated torching within the control lines. Southwesterly ridgetop winds will provide clear sky and good ventilation. There is continued potential for spotting north of the South Fork Merced River in the Johnson Creek area and across Iron Creek to the east as the fire consumes residual fuels near the containment lines. Minimal smoke will be visible in the late afternoon with southwesterly transport winds and nighttime cooling will allow smoke to accumulate in the valleys due to downslope flow and a strong inversion. With diminishing heat sources and successful suppression efforts the threat of spread or escape will be minimized.
Reopening of Wawona Road
Wawona Road (continuation of Highway 41 into Yosemite) between the South Entrance and Yosemite Valley will tentatively reopen to visitors on Saturday, July 23, at 6 am. The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and the Wawona area will remain closed for at least another week. This closure includes all camping, lodging, vacation rentals, and other services (other than gas) in the Wawona area.
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