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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

Washburn Fire Wawona Repopulation - Frequently Asked Questions

Washburn Fire Wildfire
News – 7/16/2022

Frequently Asked Questions 
Access Questions I’m a Wawona resident or property owner. When can I return to my home?

Residents and property owners may return to Wawona on Sunday, July 17, at 8 am. You must show a photo ID and a proof of residency document. Escort is mandatory when entering and leaving via Wawona Road between South Entrance and Wawona.

The following are residents or property owners:

·       All private property owners.

·       All permanent and seasonal NPS employees who reside in Wawona.

·       All residents of concessions (YH) and cooperator (YC, etc.) housing if included on a list provided to NPS. Speak to your supervisor to determine if you are on the access list.

PLEASE NOTE:  No homes or other structures were damaged by the fire. If you own a rental or vacation property but do not normally live in Wawona and can delay your trip several days, please do so if possible. The first goal is to return people to their year-round homes. Due to the amount of fire traffic that will remain in the community, minimizing traffic will remain important for some time. We are sympathetic to everyone's desire to see the results of this fire, but that will be here for years to come, so if you can delay your trip after we repopulate, we would greatly appreciate it.

If you checked into temporary NPS housing in another area of the park, please arrange a check-out with the housing office. If you need cleaning supplies to prepare for your check out, put in a work order with yose_fmd_customer_service_center@nps.gov.

Seasonal employees of South Entrance and Wawona Campground who were displaced, please contact David Miyako prior to returning to Wawona to discuss possible temporary duty locations.

WAWONA WILL REMAIN UNDER A FIRE ADVISORY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

What documentation is needed for proof of residency?

If you do not have a driver's license with a Wawona address, please have a deed or current utility bill with your name that matches your photo ID. Anyone who is not able to provide this information to the checkpoints will not be permitted access, including relatives and guests. This is to ensure security of your property. Checkpoints may be staffed by people who do not regularly work in Wawona or know you: everyone must show proof of identification and residency.

NPS employees in seasonal housing only need a photo ID and do not need residency documentation. Checkpoint staff will have a list of seasonal residents.

I’m a current concession or cooperator resident but my supervisor says I’m not on the list. When can I return? 

Work with your supervisor to determine when you may return to your Wawona housing.

When can I send someone to my property to check it or clean it? When can I have my contractor resume work on my property?

We will not allow contractors, employees or other people hired to clean/work on property initially. Structure protection, which includes numerous fire engines, woodchippers, dump trucks and the like, are still working in Wawona. Due to these road restrictions, we need to minimize traffic in the residential area. Please do not send these people up. We will communicate via Everbridge when this type of activity can resume. It will likely be the middle of this coming week.

Are there time restrictions on entry times?

Yes. Access to and from Wawona is possible only from 8 am to 8 pm daily. There is no overnight access in or out (except emergencies) due to fire traffic, hazards, and severe smoke. Escorts will be required in both directions between South Entrance and Wawona. Vehicles traveling from Yosemite Valley may enter unescorted, but only from 8 am to 8 pm. This restriction will be assessed daily and lifted as soon as possible. We will communicate via Everbridge when the restriction changes or ends.

When will escorts occur? Why are they happening?

Inbound traffic will queue at South Entrance. Please arrive 15 minutes early to allow ID checks and permit issuance. Escorts will occur at:

·       8 am

·       12 noon

·       4 pm

·       8 pm

Outbound traffic will queue at the dirt bus parking across from the Wawona gas station. Please arrive 15 minutes early to allow ID checks and permit issuance. Escorts will occur at:

·       8:30 am

·       12: 30 pm

·       4:30 pm

·       8:30 pm

Do not enter the roadway if you miss the escort. Please wait for the next one or leave Wawona northbound toward the Valley.

Due to fire vehicle and aircraft activity, brief but frequent road closures will be necessary. To ensure your safety and allow continued firefighting efforts, escorts are required until aircraft activity is lessened. We will lift this restriction as soon as we can.

I’m a resident of Yosemite West or I commute on Wawona Road. When can I use Wawona Road to or from South Boundary to commute?

Starting at 8 am on Monday, July 18, people who reside or work in Yosemite National Park or Yosemite West may use Wawona Road for commuting purposes. Visitors, including vacation rental guests, will NOT be allowed on Wawona Road south of Yosemite West until further notice. This restriction will be reassessed daily. As soon as firefighting operations allow the restriction to be lifted, we will allow access to everyone. We will be working to allow this as soon as possible.

When can non-resident employees who work in Wawona return to work?

All employees may return to work in Wawona at 8 am on Monday, July 18, with supervisory approval. Check with your supervisor (Yosemite Hospitality, NPS, and all cooperators) to verify your date, time, and place to report.

When can I start having renters at my Wawona vacation rental and when will Wawona open to the general public?

There is no estimate for when Wawona will open to the general public. The incident commander will reassess daily. When firefighting operations make this possible, we will allow access.

Public Services When will US mail and other delivery systems (UPS, FedEX) resume?

Ground shipping companies can resume service on Monday, July 18. USPS delivery is pending. Wawona mail will remain available at the post office in Yosemite Village until full delivery is restored to Wawona.

Will the grocery stores be open?

The Pine Tree Market is open from 8 am to 8 pm. Wawona Store opening is pending.

When will YARTS service resume?

This has not been determined at this time. YARTS is providing service between Fresno and Tenaya Lodge.

Hazards Will we have to evacuate Wawona again?

The fire advisory remains in effect until further notice. Be prepared to evacuate should fire behavior require it. Ensure you are signed up for Yosemite National Park Everbridge notifications.

How is the air quality?

Air quality has been in the unhealthy and hazardous category daily, normally overnight and in the mornings. Those in sensitive categories may consider delaying returning to Wawona. We recommend checking fire.airnow.gov for air quality updates. A daily smoke outlook is also available. Wawona Community Center will be set up as a clean air location and may be used by residents and employees for respite. Consider wearing a properly fitted N95 respirator if working outside. Smoke particulates are a true health risk, and you should heed recommendations related to smoke exposure.

What is the COVID-19 situation in Wawona?

Fire crews have traveled from across the country to assist with this fire and many residents have been sharing space indoors. Those who evacuated have likely been sheltering in areas that have a high transmission of COVID-19. Mariposa and Madera counties are still at a high transmission level. Please be aware there is potential for increased COVID-19 cases because of this. Testing early and often can help reduce the risk for spread. Free at-home test kits provided by Mariposa County will be available while supplies last for pick up by residents at the Pine Tree Market from 8 am to 8 pm.

Can I day hike around Wawona? (Meadow Loop, Chowchilla Mountain Road, Four Mile Road, Alder Creek, South Fork, Deer Camp, Swinging Bridge, all trails to the Grove, etc.)

No. Large areas of wilderness and front country areas are closed under a public safety closure. Please refer to the closure map and the closure page for the current closure information. Remain at your property and limit driving and walking around Wawona as much as possible to allow fire crews to continue their work.

Will the Mariposa Grove be accessible?

No. All trails to and within the Mariposa Grove, the Mariposa Grove Road, and the Welcome Plaza are closed until further notice.

Is Chowchilla Mountain Road open?

No. It will remain closed until the public safety closure for the area is lifted.

What else do I need to know about returning to Wawona?

·       There are a lot of people and vehicles along the Wawona Road.

o   Aircraft flying over the road requires frequent and recurring road closures.

o   Firefighters and engines are still in place throughout Wawona for structure protection. Minimize driving around Wawona.

o   Do not drive to the golf course to watch helicopters.

o   Stay on your property as much as possible.

o   Firefighters are camping in various places around the community. This is an authorized activity.

o   NO RENTAL GUESTS and NO VISITOR ACCESS. This includes guests in your housing.

·       Power was not disrupted, so spoiled food should not be an issue.

Who do I contact if I still have questions?

yose_alerts@nps.gov

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