Natural Fire, Pardon Our Smoke!
Visitors to Yosemite National Park are advised that localized smoke impacts from the Meadow Fire may have adverse health impacts. While most portions of the park are open and relatively smoke free, Yosemite Valley is experiencing more significant daily smoke effects. In particular, Yosemite Valley has been experiencing very unhealthy air quality in the morning, from approximately 8:00 a.m to 10:00 a.m. daily.
Members of the general population should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion in Yosemite Valley during those hours.
One strategy to avoid exposure is to visit other parts of the park early and return to Yosemite Valley in the afternoon from 2:00 p.m. until dark. Skies are usually clear during these times.
People with heart or lung disease, the elderly, children, and pregnant women should make a special effort to avoid Yosemite Valley in the morning hours. Should you experience coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea or unusual fatigue or light-headedness, you should depart from the smoky area and contact your health care provider, should symptoms persist.
An Interagency Wildland Fire Use Team is managing the Meadow Fire to benefit Yosemite National Park´s Illilouette Basin, an area where fire and fire effects have fulfilled their role as ecosystem processes for decades. Smoke has ecological benefits. For example, smoke kills dwarf mistletoe, which is a parasitic plant that grows on native trees The National Park
Service is aware that smoke may impact visitors to the park and is making every effort to provide current information so visitors may plan their stay accordingly.
Smoke emissions are expected to decrease in the days to come, as fire mangers direct the fire away from park improvements into a mosaic of burned and unburned areas. This will naturally limit the growth and smoke emissions from the Meadow Fire. If smoke persists, fire crews will extinguish portions of the fire edge to minimize its impacts on visibility.
Story by the Yosemite National Park Media Relations staff.