YOSEMITE – All trails to Yosemite Falls are temporarily closed from the Valley and from various trailheads above Yosemite Creek due to fire suppression activity in the area.
On Monday, Aug. 10 at 3:30 p.m., several visitors called 9-1-1 to report a fire at the top of Upper Yosemite Fall switchbacks. Yosemite Helicopter 551 responded with the park helitack crew to begin suppression efforts and provide support with water bucket drops. Other Yosemite fire crews also responded to assist.
Approximately 15 to 20 hikers were safely escorted out of the fire area by firefighters and park Search & Rescue members. California Highway Patrol Helicopter H40, was called and was standing by in Ahwahnee Meadow for further extractions August 10. Their assistance was not needed.
As of 6 a.m. today the fire was at approximately three acres. Suppression efforts, including helicopter operations, will continue through the next few days until the fire is out. The rate of spread is relatively slow on the ground both up and down the upper Yosemite Falls gorge near the switchbacks.
Park officials report no smoke was observable in the Valley this morning. Smoke may be seen from other high elevation locations, particularly the Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome areas.
Resources include 2 helicopters for bucket drops, and 14 fire personnel.
The fire was determined to be human caused and is under investigation.
Smoke from the fire may affect air quality in the morning hours. There have been no injuries. All visitors are urged to be diligent in any use of fire, including smoking. And be sure all fires are out!
Other Yosemite Fires:
Badger (37 40.697 x 119 39.316 – Mariposa Co., August 10). This fire was discovered by Helicopter 551 in the area of Summit Meadows near Glacier Point Road. Wawona Engine 32 responded and suppressed the 0.01acre fire. It is in patrol status.
Lightning caused fires being monitored and managed for multiple objectives:
Cathedral (37 51.078 x 119 25.120 – Tuolumne Co., 9400’El., 8/2). This is 0.20 of a mile off the John Muir Trail to Cathedral Lakes. The perimeter is actively smoldering and creeping through lodgepole pine needles and logs and has good potential to grow until it hits natural barriers. The fire is 0.20 acres in size and is being monitored.
Middle (37 51.538 x 119 41.194 – Tuolumne Co., 8043’El., 7/27). It is west of White Wolf and south of the Middle Tuolumne River. It is at 1.5 acres, and may be visible from Tioga Road. It continues to smolder and creep through down logs, pine needles and other vegetation. It is in a red fir and lodgepole pine forest.
Dark (37 50.575 x 119 37.153 – Mariposa Co.,8200′ el., 7/ 9). This fire is along the Yosemite Creek Campground Road and smoke is periodically visible from both the campground and Tioga roads. Fire crews secured the edges of the fire by burning along the most active perimeter. That operation is complete. It is at 38.8 acres, and continues to creep and smolder through red fir duff and needles within the interior of the fire. The Lukens trail is temporarily closed. Fire crews will be parked and working Yosemite Creek Campground Road. For firefighter and visitor safety, drivers are urged to use caution while driving in the area of parked fire equipment.
White Cascade (37 54.926 x 119 23.780 – Tuolumne Co, at 9000′ el., 7/3). This remote fire is east of Glen Aulin High Sierra camp, east of Conness Creek, and west of Tuolumne Meadows, and is at 0.68 acres. This high elevation fire, in a lodge pole pine forest, poses no threat to trails and has a low spread potential. Smoke may be visible in Tuolumne Meadows.
Quartzite (37 43.871 x 119 25.200 – Mariposa Co., 8387′ el., 7/27). It is approximately 0.5 miles south of Merced Lake, mid-slope and on a north aspect. It is smoldering in mountain hemlock, western white pine and lodgepole pine. This fire is contained to natural barriers.
Stubblefield (38 02.743 x 119 36.625 – Tuolumne Co., 7659′ el., 8/3). This fire is in Stubblefield Canyon and west of the Pacific Crest Trail and at the northeast section of the park; it is very remote. It is most likely a lightning strike holdover. Currently, it is 2-3 acres in size, in a red fir and Jeffrey Pine forested area, with other sparse vegetation.
In addition, Indian Canyon was suppressed and is in patrol status.
Air Quality in the park is being affected by numerous fires throughout California.
Currently no roads are closed within the park. The Lukens cut-off trail, south of the Tioga Road, is temporarily closed.
As with all fires, staff and visitor safety is of paramount importance. Each fire, regardless of size, is assessed for the appropriate course of action.