A fire burning in Yosemite National Park has nearly doubled in size in the past 24 hours. Officials at Yosemite National Park say the Meadow fire has now consumed about 3,000 acres.
Firefighters are trying to contain the fire on its northern and western sides, but the flames are being allowed to spread toward the south and east. Park fire resources are committed to this fire as well as five handcrews, four engines, a fire use management team, and three helicopters from other agencies. Approximately 250 personnel are dedicated to the Meadow Fire.
Some trails are closed throughout the park, and smoke is obscuring some of Yosemite´s most scenic views. Currently there are nine wildland fire use fires burning in Yosemite National Park. The Meadow Fire is the largest of the nine. The term “fire use fire” refers to fires which are managed by land management officials to meet specific ecological and land management goals. Naturally occurring
fires are sometimes allowed to burn and spread naturally when they do not
threaten people or property. The Meadow fire is being managed by an
Interagency Fire Management Use team.
Yosemite National Park experienced widespread lightning activity over the
week of June 27th. The Meadow fire experienced sudden growth on Tuesday,
Fire is a natural ecological process that plays an important role in
shaping and restoring the park´s ecosystems. Aggressive mitigation actions
were taken on the northern and western flanks of the fire to prevent spread
towards the Glacier Point Road and the Yosemite Valley southern rim.
Measures have also been taken to mitigate the smoke in and around the
After brief trail and road closures due a lightning ignited fire, Yosemite
National Park is pleased to announce the opening of the Glacier Point Road
as well as the trails to Half Dome and Clouds Rest. The Glacier Point Road
will re-open at 7 p.m. Friday, July 16. Little Yosemite Valley, evacuated
on Wednesday, July 14th has re-opened as well. The John Muir and Mist
Trails are open for visitors to climb Half Dome. While some trails will
remain closed along the Glacier Point Road, the Four Mile Trail from
Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point is open; the Sentinel Dome and Taft Point
trails are open.
Visitors to the park should expect smoky conditions that may impact their
experience in the park. Yosemite Valley, particularly during the morning
and evening will have smoke that impairs views in and from the valley.
Smoke in the valley and surrounding areas lifts by the afternoon.
Park visitors may consider areas in the park such as Tuolumne Meadows and
Tioga Pass, Hetch Hetchy, White Wolf, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
and Wawona, The Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, and the Merced Grove of
Giant Sequoias where smoke impacts are not so great. Afternoons provide
Fire is an essential, natural process in the Sierra Nevada. Over the past
century, fire suppression has altered historic fire cycles, leading to a
dangerous build-up of vegetation in our wildlands. One way for Yosemite
National Park to restore healthy conditions and protect communities from
catastrophic fire is to take advantage of some natural fires.
Visitors should expect localized smoke. Visitors with respiratory
conditions should avoid smoky areas and vigorous activity is not
recommended where heavy smoke is present. The park and the fire use
management team are attentive to the public´s concerns about smoke impacts
to health, visibility, and experiencing the park. The team´s management of
the fire considers reducing smoke impacts to the visitor.