YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK–The Washburn Fire is currently burning within the Yosemite National Park (YNP) boundary near the Mariposa Grove area. The Mariposa Grove is closed indefinitely. The community of Wawona has been evacuated including residents, employees and park guests. We will be adding updates to this article , please check back often. Helpful Links are at the bottom of the page.
Update 8:00pm 7.10.2022
The Washburn Fire is currently 2,044 acres. There are 545 personnel assigned to the fire. The incidents commander is Josh Boehm from the California Interagency Incident Management Team (IMT) 13. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, an incident management team is dispatched or mobilized during complex emergency incidents to provide a command and control infrastructure in order to manage the operational, logistical, informational, planning, fiscal, community, political, and safety issues associated with complex incidents.
Fire activity was affected by an inversion layer over the fire for most of the day. The inversion layer also kept firefighting aircraft from being able to engage in firefighting efforts due to visibility issues. In the afternoon, however, fixed wing firefighting aircraft were able to continue laying down fire retardant in between the fire and The Mariposa Grove area. Also, water dropping helicopters were able to work on the fire in the late afternoon and will continue to do so until sundown.
Today and tomorrow the fire area will be experiencing a warming trend as high pressure continues to strengthen and hot and dry conditions continue throughout the week. This will cause the fire to continue actively spreading. Once the fire reaches some of the recent fire scars, spread may slow, but fire will continue to burn into the fire scars.
For more information on the fire, the IMT has posted an update video here.
Update 11:30am 7.10.2022
The FIRIS mapping aircraft has updated the Washburn Fire’s acreage to 1,821 acres. Firefighting aircraft are over the fire with their priorities being to keep the fire out of the Wawona area and the Mariposa Grove.
Update 8:00am 7.10.2022
The Washburn Fire is now covering 1591 acres. The fire is burning in difficult terrain with continuous heavy fuels in and around the fire. Significant tree mortality from 2013 – 2015 has left dead standing and dead fallen fuels. This also presents many safety hazards to firefighters.
Yesterday, despite a very heavy firefighting aircraft presence, the fire continued to move steadily towards the south fork of the Merced River and Highway 41.
Heavy smoke from the Washburn Fire is expected to impact the surrounding communities of the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Ground and air resources will continue suppression efforts today. The fire cause is under investigation.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) and any private aircraft or drone that violates the TFR could face serious criminal charges.
Update 8:00pm 7.9.2022
The Washburn Fire was mapped this afternoon at approximately 5:00pm by the FIRIS mapping aircraft and has grown to 1384 acres. According to the Yosemite National Park Facebook page Evacuation of the Wawona community and Wawona Campground remain in place. The Wawona Road (Highway 41) is closed at South Entrance to Henness Ridge Road. Yosemite West remains accessible via Wawona Road from the north (from Yosemite Valley).
Structure assessment and preparation work is on going in the community of Wawona.
The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is home to over 500 mature trees. Efforts to protect these trees and the historic structures within the Grove include: removing hazard fuels, deploying temporary sprinkler systems, and utilizing protective structure wrap on the base of the trees as well as on the Galen Clark Cabin.
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