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Washburn Fire

Unit Information

Yosemite National Park
National Park Service
P.O. Box 577
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389

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Incident Contact

Yosemite Fire Information
Email: yose_fire_info@nps.gov
Phone: 209-379-1493
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Washburn Fire Talking Points

Washburn Fire Wildfire
Announcements – 7/13/2022

2022 Washburn Fire Talking Points

On July 7, 2022, several 911 callers reported seeing smoke in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias off the Washburn Trail.

·       A full and aggressive suppression response, including the use of ground and aerial resources such as helicopters and air tankers, was immediately launched. 

Protection of life and property continues to remain paramount including the community of Wawona

·       Evacuation of the Wawona occurred on Friday, July 8. ·       Fire conditions and behavior are constantly monitored and assessed in order to prepare for the re-population of the community. ·       Structure protection is in place and there has not been any damage or loss of park or private structures, including the historic Wawona Hotel.

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias has seen minimal fire impacts

·       due to a long history of prescribed burning and a proactive fire management and fuels reduction program.  ·       there have been no known loss of any large giant sequoias. ·       This is in contrast to the nearly 20% loss of giant sequoia in the last few years during large-scale wildfires.  ·       Conditions in the fire perimeter include: o   heavy dead and down vegetation due to a mono wind event in 2021, effects of climate change and drought, and bark beetle kill.

The Sierra Nevada is experiencing the repercussions of 100+ years of fire exclusion.

·       Yosemite National Park has been at the forefront of fire and fuels management, having conducted prescribed burns for over 50 years. ·       combined with fuel reduction treatments, defensible space programs, and biomass reduction has created opportunities for firefighters to be successful on the Washburn fire to date. ·       firing operations along the Wawona Road (Hwy 41) to secure the western edge of the fire, benefitted from these projects by making the area safer for firefighters. 

The National Park Service is dedicated to the preservation and protection of cultural and historic assets.

·       A robust Resource Advisor presence has been instrumental in ensuring these assets are protected during fire suppression operations. ·       using protective fire wrap on the historic Galen Clark Cabin within the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. ·       Resources Advisors work in tandem with Operations and coordinate decisions based on conditions and safety of the impacted area. ·       Resource advisors are not limited to fireline operations, but are also working in conjunction with the National Park Service and USDA Forest Service as additional containment opportunities are scouted out in advance of the fire. 

In a matter of days after the Washburn fire ignited, firefighters and support personnel deployed to support California Incident Management Team 13 in Yosemite National Park and Sierra National Forest.

·       The unprecedented numbers of hotshot crews, engines, and aircraft, especially during this time of year, demonstrates the commitment by all involved to this being a full suppression fire. ·       These resources are not just federal, but are from local, county, and state partner agencies from across the nation. ·       Additional firefighters are arriving daily and all critical requests are being met.