Fire Information: Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Phone: 209-819-7246
Location: Yosemite National Park, Mariposa Grove Percent Contained: 25%
Start Date: July 7, 2022 Cause: Under Investigation
Size: 2340 acres (+749) Number of Personnel Assigned: 545 (+185)
The Washburn fire incident management team will host a public meeting in Oakhurst, CA, on Monday, July 11, at 7 pm. The meeting will take place at the Community Center of Oakhurst at 39800 Fresno Flats Rd. The meeting will also be livestreamed on Yosemite Fire and Aviation | Facebook
Summary: The Washburn Fire was reported on July 7th, near the Washburn Trail in the Mariposa Grove area of Yosemite National Park. A full initial attack response was dispatched including Yosemite NP Fire resources as well as state and local cooperators. California Interagency Incident Management Team 13 assumed command of the fire Saturday, July 9th and will manage the incident as a full suppression fire.
The fire was active last night and with the current warming trend, increased fire activity is expected for today as well. While structure wrap is not currently being used on the giant sequoias, firefighters are proactively protecting the Mariposa Grove through the use of a ground-based sprinkler system. This increases the humidity in the area around the trees and combined with the removal of ground fuels, the ground fire risk is greatly reduced. Yosemite’s fire management program has for many years utilized a wide variety of methods to reduce the fuels and minimize the risk of fire to the over 500 mature giant sequoias as well as the entire National Park.
Terrain and Fuels: The fire is burning in difficult terrain which presents accessibility issues for firefighters. Heavy fuel loading from a period of high tree mortality has resulted in a large number of standing dead and fallen trees which create hazardous conditions for firefighters. The current fire location does not provide a large number of natural barriers which are often used to slow or stop the spread of a fire. Consequently, a great deal of hand and dozer line is being constructed.
Aircraft Incident: On Saturday, July 9th a tree branch was sent into the air from the powerful updraft produced by the fire. As it dropped back to earth, it narrowly missed two firefighting aircraft. Fortunately, there were no injuries and no damage. We are all grateful for the hard work and risks taken by everyone involved with the firefighting effort.
Evacuations & Closures: Wawona, Wawona Road (Hwy 41) south of Yosemite West, and the Mariposa Grove are closed until further notice. All other areas of Yosemite National Park are open. Use El Portal Rd (Hwy 140) or Big Oak Flat Rd. (Hwy 120 East) or Tioga Rd (Hwy 120 West) to enter Yosemite. EXPECT SMOKEY CONDITIONS WITHIN THE PARK.
The Rest of the Park Remains Open: Reservations required; visit www.recreation.gov. We appreciate the patience of the public as visitors experience longer waits at the other entrances while the south entrance remains closed.
Weather: A heating trend will take place through the week. A full forecast is available at www.weather.gov/hnx.
Current Conditions: For road, campground, and other information visit www.nps.gov/yose.
Smoke: A smoke map at fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into your area to see the latest smoke conditions.
Aviation / Drone Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) has been issued and any private aircraft or drone violating the TFR could face serious criminal charges. For more information on drones visit: knowbeforeyoufly.org
“If you fly, we can’t!”