Tuolumne, CA — You may notice some new smoke columns near the Rim Fire today as officials plan to do more burnout operations in hopes of pushing it into the Emigrant Wilderness.
Forest Service Spokesperson Jerry Snyder says crews hoped to create additional lines last night, but winds minimized the opportunities. Wind speeds are expected to be around 11 mph today in the vicinity of the fire, and Snyder says thankfully the humidity is expected to be around 60%. “When we do those burnout operations, of course you are going to see large plumes of smoke going up,” says Snyder. “We’re actually burning from our lines, towards the fire, in that attempt to push it towards the east.”
Snyder says the Emigrant Wilderness has a lot of granite that would serve as a natural barrier.
Officials confirm this morning that at least 101 structures have now been destroyed by the fire. The cost to battle the blaze has topped $27 million and there are 3,752 firefighters on scene.
The official morning Fire Report from the Rim Fire Incident Command reads as follows:
Firefighters worked overnight on yesterday’s spot fires and continued with line construction throughout the fire. Crews were successful in getting a dozer line around spot fires at Duckwall Mountain. Firefighters were able to get line in, and successfully burn out the adjacent to Yosemite National Park south of Highway 120 to slow the spread of the fire. Today, fire crews will continue working the spot fires and structure defense north and south of Highway 120 from pilot Ridge to Yosemite National Park. Fire fighters will also continue with contingency line construction in advance of the communities in the Highway 108 corridor.
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.
The evacuation advisory from Tuolumne City and the area east of Highway 108 has been expanded to Pinecrest Lake. Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Buck Meadows has been evacuated.
A Mandatory Evacuation has been issued for residences north of Old Yosemite Road (Forest Road 2S01), and an Evacuation Warning has been issued for all residences north of Bull Creek Road (Forest Road 2S02), Bondurant Mine Road, Texas Hill Road, and Wampum Hill.