The South Fork Fire near Wawona in Yosemite National Park grew slightly overnight to 4,012 acres Wednesday morning, as evacuations were lifted on the west side of Chilnualna Creek.
The fire is now 22% contained, after it was 17% contained Tuesday. Officials said line construction around the fire, which started Aug. 13 about a mile east of Wawona, has been making significant progress. Further strengthening of those lines has been completed, and natural barriers such as the Merced River are being used to further secure Wawona and other areas from the flames.
In the next 12 hours, crews - with 581 personnel, 14 hand crews, 15 engines, and five helicopters - are continuing to construct lines, particularly to the east side of the blaze, officials said. Over 24 hours, they said crews plan to secure the blaze’s southern edge and keep it contained at the south fork of the river.
Smoky conditions are present in many areas of the park, including the popular Yosemite Valley and around such mountains as El Capitan and Half Dome. Smoke has also been seen drifting south during the mornings into Fish Camp and Oakhurst. Those with sensitivity to smoky conditions are advised to consult with their physicians, and remain inside with the windows closed. Smoke is typically strongest in the mornings, officials said, and clears into the afternoon.
For more information on the South Fork Fire, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5502/.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.