A wildfire that started early Sunday afternoon, Sept. 7, in Yosemite National Park in Yosemite National Park has grown to approximately 2,585 acres. Named the Meadow Fire, it originated in Yosemite’s backcountry wilderness, east of Half Dome and Little Yosemite Valley, at about noon.
Approximately 50 hikers were evacuated from the top of Half Dome, Little Yosemite Valley, and surrounding trails, via helicopter. There are no reported injuries or structures affected by the wildfire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Throughout the afternoon and into the evening, more than 100 firefighters were on scene, along with seven helicopters, three air tankers, and ground crews.
The area, at 7,000 feet in elevation, features rugged terrain. Ground access requires a several mile hike to the area affected by the fire. Yosemite National Park firefighters are working with fire crews from Cal Fire, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, Mariposa County Fire, California Highway Patrol, and U.S. Forest Service.
As of Monday, despite the fire, Yosemite National Park and all facitilies within Yosemite Valley remain open. However, trails near the Half Dome area, the Little Yosemite Valley area (a backcountry camping area near Half Dome), Merced Lake and Sunrise High Sierra Camps, Clouds Rest, and Echo Valley are closed due to fire activity.
Visitors, campers, employees are likely to experience air quality smoke impacts overnight and early morning hours in Yosemite Valley. Fires of this magnitude, in this area of the park have in the past produced heavy smoke that drains down into Yosemite Valley, so be prepared for smoke in the Unhealthy AQI range or worse in the mornings, with some clearing in the afternoon hours.
Visitors are urged to check the park’s website to get updated information in the smoke impacts to Yosemite National Park. Updated information can be found at www.nps.gov/yose.
Fire Informational Call Center: (209) 372-0327.