More than 500 firefighters are making headway against a smoky inferno near Wawona inside Yosemite National Park, officials reported Friday afternoon, as the flames showed no growth from previous days.
The South Fork Fire remained at 2,407 acres and was 7% contained, burning in a mixture of conifer, oak, and brush, officials said.
Burning operations, which will help create lines around the community of Wawona and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, may continue throughout the day with favorable conditions.
The strategy to gain complete control of the fire remains the same as previous days, officials said: use air and ground crews to maintain the western and southern flanks, while monitoring its northern and eastern edges. The fire is burning to the northeast, away from Wawona, which is estimated to have around 1,000 to 2,000 people at any given time.
Conditions will become warmer, and drier, through the first part of the weekend, with a subtle cooling trend starting on Sunday, officials said. Thunderstorms are possible during that time.
The following closures are in place:
☆ Wawona Campground (officials said it will reopen Saturday, visit www.recreation.gov for reservations)
☆ Bridalveil Creek Campground
☆ Big Trees Golf Course
☆ Chilnualna Falls trail
Affected smoky areas include around El Capitan, Yosemite High Sierra, and in canyons west of Wawona out to Mariposa, and along Highway 140 from El Portal. Some smoke has also been seen in Oakhurst and other surrounding areas. For updating air quality conditions, click here.
Those sensitive to smoke should consult their physician and remain indoors, or leave the area during periods of heavy smoke.
The community of Wawona, including Big Trees Lodge (formerly Wawona Hotel) remains under voluntary evacuation but is not immediately under threat, officials said.
A community meeting was scheduled at the Wawona Community Center for 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19.
For information on the South Fork Fire, dial (209) 379-5322, email email@example.com, or visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5502.