Tuolumne County, CA — It looks like Mother Nature may finally show up to help crews battle the Rim Fire today. The fire is still 84% contained and nearly 257-thousand acres. The number of firefighters has dropped to 1,321 on scene. The cost to fight the fire jumps another million to $119. The low temperatures and possible rain is expected in the fire area.
Incident Command Spokesperson Robin Vora says, “It will certainly help crews by reducing any spread. The fire will just smolder so crews can work more actively on mop-up. The few days look very good for fire suppression work.”
Here is the fire update released by Incident Command for Saturday:
Fire crews will continue mop-up and patrol of fire lines with the objective of keeping fire within existing containment lines and natural barriers. Afternoon clouds and light sprinkles are predicted today. High temperatures will be in the 50s and 60s F. The fire will continue to spread in rocky areas within the Yosemite and Emigrant Wilderness Areas east of Cherry Lake and north of Hetch Hetchy reservoir. Suppression repair continues and to-date includes 78 miles of dozer line, 5 miles of hand line, 62 miles of chipping along roads, and 21 miles of road repair. A total of 121 miles of suppression line repair remain. The current fire perimeter is about 185 miles. That perimeter includes 128,851 acres or 53% of the Groveland Ranger District (RD), 48,237 acres or 23% of the Mi-Wok RD, and 77,886 acres or 10% of Yosemite National Park. Area estimates include all ownerships within the jurisdictional boundaries.
Anyone traveling on roads within the fire area should use extreme caution as fire personnel and equipment continue to work in the area. Hazards include smoke, weakened trees and snags (that may fall), and hot burning stump holes. If you must drive through the fire area please do not stop, leave the roadway, or enter the burned area on foot.
Park and Forest Closures:
Hetch Hetchy and Aspen Valley in Yosemite Park are closed to public access due to hazardous trees. Tuolumne Grove and Hodgdon Meadow Campground remain closed due to the fire. Yosemite Creek and White Wolf Campgrounds, and White Wolf Lodge, are closed for the season. The Stanislaus National Forest issued an updated Rim Fire Area Closure for the Groveland and Mi-Wok Ranger Districts. The areas in the north section of the forest were opened earlier this week to allow access to the Crabtree Road area. The rest of the fire area remains closed until December 31, 2013.
Road Openings and Closures:
Tioga Pass Road (Hwy 120) is open across Yosemite National Park. For your safety, visitors are not permitted to stop along the road adjacent to the fire perimeter. The Big Oak Flat Road is open to Yosemite Valley. Local businesses are open and providing services (gasoline, food and lodging) for travelers. Merced Grove and Tamarack Flat reopened yesterday. Evergreen Road is open only to Evergreen Lodge. Otherwise, Hetch Hetchy Road, and surrounding areas and facilities remain closed. Cherry Lake Road is closed at Hwy 120. Old Yosemite and Harden Flat Roads are closed. Some secondary roads within the fire area remain closed to non-residents.