Current fire conditions in Yosemite: Pretty clear *

* Update: Yosemite this afternoon closed the White Wolf facilities and trails due to smoke. A couple of other campgrounds are being closed. Details

half-dome-webcam-82513.jpg
Yosemite high country at 11:25 this morning

The Rim Fire that started west of Yosemite National Park last Saturday has crossed into a corner of the park and expanded to more than 133,000 acres. They are getting some smoke and the aroma of wildfire as far away as the Eastern Sierra and the Owens Valley, but in most of Yosemite itself the smoke and ash are not in evidence today — check out the screen grab above at 11:25 a.m. from the High Sierra cam at 8,000 feet in elevation, showing Half Dome and numerous peaks in the distance. Not shown, there is smoke visible along the Tioga Road through the high country, and both Hetch Hetchy road and the northern entrance to the park via Highway 120 and Big Oak Flat Road are closed.

There are some other closures, noted below, that would affect visitors. Visitors from Southern California can still enter the park through their normal routes. The threat to San Francisco's power supply appears to have passed.

Here's the official word from the National Park Service:

Most of Yosemite National Park is not affected by the fire and is relatively smoke-free. The northern part of the park, including part of Tioga Road, has some smoke. Conditions may change if winds shift. However:


The Big Oak Flat Road (the continuation of Highway 120 inside Yosemite) and Highway 120 west of Yosemite are closed between the Highway 49 south junction (outside the park) to Crane Flat Campground (inside the park). If you are trying to get to Yosemite from the west, use Highway 140 from Merced. You may also enter Yosemite via Highway 41 from the south and 120 from the east (Tioga Pass).

Hetch Hetchy Road and Evergreen Road are closed.

Hodgdon Meadow Campground and Hetch Hetchy Backpackers' Campground are closed. (All other campgrounds in Yosemite are open.)

Merced and Tuolumne Groves of Giant Sequoias are closed.

Wilderness trail closures: The area west of the Harden Lake/Pate Valley trail, north from Pate Valley to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and continuing north along the PCT to Bond Pass is closed. The park’s boundary serves as the closure’s northern and western edge south to the Merced Grove. The closure continues east along (but not including) the Tioga Road (Hwy 120 through the park) to the White Wolf Road. The Tioga Road and the trails serving as the eastern boundary of the closed area (including the PCT) remain open.

All other roads and areas are open. Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, Crane Flat, White Wolf, and Tuolumne Meadows areas are all open.

If you have questions specifically about Yosemite National Park, please call 209/372-0327 or 209/372-0329.

rim-fire-map-82513.jpgYou can also check out the incident command website for the Rim Fire. As of 8:30 this morning, here's the status:

Incident Statics

Acres Burned: 133,980 Structures Threatened: 4,500
Containment: 7% Structures Destroyed: 23
Fire Start Date: August 17, 2013 Injuries: 2
Fire Cause: Under Investigation Total Personnel: 2,846
Cost to date: $12.4 Million

Fire Update

The Rim Fire continues to burn on the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park, Bureau of Land Management and State responsibility land. The fire is exhibiting continued growth to the northeast and east. On the western side of the fire, crews successfully conducted firing operations to bring the fire line down to the Tuolumne River in efforts to keep the fire from spreading to the west toward the Highway 108 corridor. Aerial resources continue to be effective in reducing the spread of fire toward the Highway 108 corridor. Crews continue to construct line construction where accessibility and safety allows. In addition, structure defense and contingency planning continues in the Mather area.

Smoke continues to be an issue within the Rim Fire perimeter with visibility less than a mile.

The evacuation advisory and order were lifted for the residents of Pine Mountain Lake and Buck Meadows yesterday, with the exception of Graham Ranch Road.

Forest Closure

The Stanislaus National Forest has issued an area closure for the entire Groveland Ranger District and for the Mi-Wok Ranger District east of Highway 108. Additional details are available from the Groveland Ranger District, 209-962-7825

Road Closures

Highway 120 remains closed to all inbound and outbound Yosemite National Park traffic to Crane Flat Campground. Highway 120 east/Tioga Road remains open. Also closed are Graham Ranch Road, Smith Station at Highway 120, Cherry Lake at Highway 120, and Evergreen Road. Highway 120 from Ferretti Road to Buck Meadows remains open only for local residents and business only.

Evacuations

An evacuation advisory has been issued for Tuolumne City and the area east of Highway 108 to Mi-Wok Village. Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Buck Meadows has been evacuated.

An evacuation center is at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora.


More by Kevin Roderick:
Music teacher duets with Kristin Chenoweth at the Bowl (video)
Weekend news and notes
Current fire conditions in Yosemite: Pretty clear *
Vin Scully's career put in perspective
Leaving out LA's history of car manufacturing
Recent Sierra stories on LA Observed:
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