YOSEMITE – The 2015 fire season in Yosemite officially began Sunday, May 24. Fire crews have completed all training, fire refreshers and fitness tests and all stations are staffed.
The park is currently transitioning to fire season preparedness and fire resources will be available seven days per week for suppression efforts. Park fire resources for the season include: fire management officials, four Type 3 wildland engines, one helicopter, and one hand crew.
In preparation for the fire season, the park will begin defensible space inspections throughout Yosemite’s communities, including Aspen Valley, Hodgdon Meadows, Foresta, El Portal, Yosemite Valley and Wawona starting on Monday, June 1.
Residents and homeowners are urged to clear a defensible space of 100 feet or to property lines around homes and other structures in an effort to reduce the risk of fire hazards.
Grasses and other vegetation at the lower elevations have begun to dry out. This year, vegetation is drying out faster than average due to the low snowpack the park received over the last four winter seasons, making fire danger above average for this time of year.
With the official declaration of fire season, pile burning will be discontinued throughout the park until further notice.
The fire potential is elevated statewide and has moved peak fire season conditions earlier than predicted. Yosemite National Park urges local residents and visitors to “Please be Fire Safe,” when residing and visiting the park and other public lands.
Special attention should be given when departing campgrounds, backcountry camping sites, and picnic areas to make sure all campfires have been extinguished with water, mixed with ashes and are out on departure.
For more information about fire in Yosemite National Park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm