YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK-The Pika Fire currently burning behind North Dome in Yosemite National Park (YNP) is now 818 acres in size. As previously reported here, park officials use a confined and contained strategy that allows the fire to move naturally across the landscape, providing ecological benefits to plants and wildlife while meeting protection objectives to minimize risk to people and infrastructure.
Over the past weekend, the Pika Fire produced a large smoke column and drift smoke throughout the area. This is due to fire crews implementing firing operations while monitoring weather and fire behavior, including smoke impacts. To monitor smoke in your area and take precautions for your health, please visit Current Air Quality and Smoke Monitoring – Yosemite National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov).
In the next few days, firefighters are expected to finish the firing operations and transition to monitoring and patrolling the fire.
According to Yosemite’s fire management program website, the program is designed to balance the protection of life, property, and natural and cultural resources with the continuation of fire as a natural process. Due to decades of fire suppression (actively putting out any fire that starts), forests have become overgrown and unhealthy. Naturally occurring fires allow forests to be thinned, opening the canopy and allowing sunlight through while reducing the hazardous accumulation of dead, woody debris. Fire also allows for the recycling of nutrients to the soil, which encourages the germination and regrowth of plants, shrubs, and trees.
More information is available here: Pika Fire – Inciweb