Yosemite National Park fire managers are planning a prescribed fire for the week of June 12, weather conditions permitting, in the area along Highway 41 south of Wawona potentially burning 2-3 segments ranging from 103 to 174 acres.
The amount of acres to be considered is based on air quality the day of planned ignition.
The primary objective of the project is to reduce hazardous vegetation (fuel) around the Wildland Urban Interface community of Wawona.
This project will also help protect park infrastructure at the South Entrance station and reduce the threat of wildfires originating along Highway 41 that could adversely impact the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. It would help create a continuous fuel break between the community of Wawona and the south entrance of the park linking other recent wildfire areas with reduced fuels, mechanical thinning projects, and previous prescribed fires.
Park employees, community members, and visitors can expect to see crews from various federal and state agencies working along the Highway 41 corridor doing prescribed fire preparation and burn operations.
Traffic control will be in place during burn operations and delays should be short. Please use caution when entering and exiting for firefighter safety.
Mariposa Grove prescribed fire
The Mariposa Grove is still closed for restoration which provides fire managers the opportunity to build off the burns completed in fall 2016 to enhance the protection and future growth of the Giant Sequoias, one-three segments of the grove ranging from 40 up to 140 acres are under consideration for additional prescribed fire, weather and air quality permitting.
Historically, natural fires burned an average of 16,000 acres annually in Yosemite and played an integral role in shaping Yosemite’s ecosystems. In the absence of frequent fire, unnatural levels of forest fuel have accumulated which has put many of Yosemite’s natural and cultural values at risk of severe wildfire.
As climate and forest dynamics change, these values become increasingly vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire.
Smoke will be present during prescribed fire and in the Wawona area. Fire managers are working with the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District (MCAPD) to time the projects to coincide with favorable weather and smoke dispersion conditions.
Smoke, affecting health, is always a consideration in the decision to schedule prescribed fires. A smoke management plan has been submitted to the MCAPCD, and a burn permit has been issued for both burn units. A smoke monitor will be placed in nearby communities to monitor smoke.
Fire Information: Yose_Fire_Info@nps.gov
Yosemite National Park Fire Information website: http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm