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Yosemite Prescribed Fire Starts This Week in Wawona

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK–Yosemite Fire management is preparing to continue prescribed burning operations in the coming days on the Studhorse Units 1 and 2. These are south of the Wawona community and two miles northwest of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

To maintain the safety of park visitors and allow fire management operations to be conducted, there are temporary trail closures in place. There are no anticipated road closures associated with this work. If conditions allow, active burning may occur on Friday, May 17, and consist of 55 acres. Burning may continue into Saturday.

Smoke may be present from Wawona Road (Highway 41) and the community. Fire managers work closely with Park staff and the local air pollution control districts to time the prescribed burns to coincide with favorable weather and smoke dispersion conditions.

Prescribed burning is an efficient and effective way to mitigate the risk of large wildfires by decreasing excessive fuel build-up which reduces fire intensity and protects infrastructure and natural resources. It also creates new habitats and leaves intact habitats for wildlife.

Last year, Yosemite fire crews successfully burned units 3, 4, and 5. Completion of the Studhorse units will enable the park to continue to prescribe burn within Mariposa Grove and reintroduce fire in the surrounding units to provide protection to the grove. Some of the first prescribed burns in Yosemite occurred in the Studhorse area in the 1970s.

Firefighters conducting the prescribed burn in Yosemite last year with smoke in the background.

Firefighters conducting prescribed burning in the Studhorse Unit last year in May. Photo courtesy of Yosemite Fire and Aviation.

Smoke will be visible along Wawona Road (Highway 41) during and after burning operations. Air quality information is available online at https://fire.airnow.gov/.

Yosemite Fire Information 

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