Sierra National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
Clovis, CA 93611
Ferguson Fire Update
August 6, 2018
Engines: 203 Water Tenders: 20 Helicopters: 14 Crews: 40 Dozers: 33 Total Personnel: 2,689
Note: Crew and water tender numbers now reflect tactical crews and equipment engaged on the fire. Previous numbers reflected camp crews and water tenders used to support fire camp.
The outer perimeter of the fire remained the same at 91,502 acres and is now 38 percent containment. This fire is being managed as a full-suppression fire.
Completion of the firing operation south of Wawona to the South Fork of the Merced River is a significant achievement for firefighters. This successful operation will secure the community of Wawona and the Mariposa Grove. Vegetation will continue to burn in Iron Creek Drainage within the interior of the fire, reducing the likelihood of future spotting. Once cooled, the southeast perimeter of the fire should be secured, freeing up resources to assist with other parts of the fire.
The weather is forecasted to be favorable today for additional firing operations around the fire perimeter. Burning operations along Montgomery Ridge south of Pilot Peak were completed last night. The burnout consumed vegetation between the dozer line on the ridge and the active fire. These tactical burning operations are done slowly when weather conditions allow, ensuring that no spotting occurs outside the containment lines.
Along the northern perimeter of the fire, crews kept the fire from crossing Highway 120 above Merced Grove. Expert sawyers, firefighters trained in cutting down large hazardous trees, work to remove fire-weakened trees from the Highway 120 corridor. Removal of these trees are necessary prior to the reopening of the highway.
Firefighters are burning along dozer-constructed containment lines from the tunnel on Big Oak Flat Road toward Highway 140 to contain fire spreading northeast from Foresta. Options are being explored to secure the southern portion of the fire above El Portal and Old El Portal. Fire did not challenge containment lines around those or other communities along the Highway 140 corridor. Structure defense specialists and law enforcement remained within all evacuated communities.
Firefighters are engaging the fire burning across Wawona Road (Highway 41) with line construction from Elephant Rock to the burn scar of the 2017 Empire Fire using roads and natural features. A southern containment line was identified along a former service road leading toward Badger Pass.
Yosemite Valley and other nearby destinations remain closed due to increased fire activity. National Park officials reported fire has impacted all roads into the valley. Steep terrain, dense forests of beetle-killed trees, unstable slopes and other hazards have made securing the area a challenge.
Yosemite National Park is accessible from the east out of Lee Vining. Tioga Pass Road provides access to the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, the Pacific Crest and John Muir trails and several prominent peaks.
Fire behavior will decrease as a slight change in the weather occurs. Vegetation is dry and the potential for the fire to spread rapidly remains a possibility. Residents will continue to see smoke and multiple smoke columns. Air quality and health advisories are available at the Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program for the Yosemite area and Southern Sierra area.
The fire has burned at varying intensities throughout the fire’s footprint to leave a diversity of landscape characteristics which benefit vegetation and wildlife.
Stanislaus National Forest closure: Stanislaus National Forest officials closed several roads and trails on the Groveland Ranger District within the vicinity of the Ferguson Fire. The closure order spans from Ferguson Ridge in the south to Pilot Ridge in the north. The closure is expected to be in effect until Sept. 30.
Yosemite National Park closure: Yosemite Valley, Wawona Road, the Mariposa and Merced groves of giant sequoias, Hetch Hetchy, among other areas, are closed. The east side of the park remains open out of Lee Vining along the Tioga Pass Road. For more information, go to nps.gov/yose or call 209-372-0200.
Mandatory Evacuations: Areas that are currently under a mandatory evacuation include:
· Anderson Valley
· Cedar Lodge/Indian Flat Campground
· El Portal Trailer Court
· Incline Road
· Old El Portal
· Old Yosemite Road
· Rancheria Flat – Government Housing
· River Road from Briceburg to the last BLM campground
· Savage’s Trading Post
· Yosemite Valley
· Yosemite View Lodge
· Yosemite West
· Anderson Valley Road
· Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120) from entrance of Yosemite National Park to Crane Flat.
· Foresta Road
· Highway 140 from the entrance of Yosemite National Park to 1.5 miles east of Midpines
· Incline Road
· River Road from Briceburg to the gate at Railroad Flat and all campground areas along Highway 140
· Summit Road
· Old Yosemite Road (Coulterville Road)
· Wawona Road (Highway 41) between Chilnualna Falls Road in Wawona and Bridalveil Falls parking lot in Yosemite Valley
Red Cross Shelter:
· New Life Christian Fellowship: 5089 Cole Road, Mariposa, CA 95338Red Cross Shelter is located at New Life Christian Fellowship, 5089 Cole Road, Mariposa, CA.
Small animals: Central California Animal Disaster Team (CCADT) at 888-402-2238, ext. 700
Large animals: Mariposa Fairgrounds, 5007 Fairgrounds Road, Mariposa, CA 95338
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