2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
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tlsharb
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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by tlsharb » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:34 am

Just got back from 7 days along the Leconte divide, started on Aug 2nd. One night at Hobler, next night at the Punchbowl, 2 nights in Bench Valley, and then out through Halfmoon Lake, and a final night at Woodchuck. First two days were a little hazy. Day three was terrible..got on top of Lucifer's saddle and couldn't see a thing. After that the skies were clear. Seriously the last four days you would never have known there were any fires going on.








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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by Hobbes » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:49 am

Here's a great short video reviewing the status of the Ferguson fire as of 8/10 am:

http://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/i ... st-10-2018

Things are starting to look up. All we need is a good monsoon to wash out the skies in the next couple of weeks. Sept/Oct are going to be boffo with all the pent up desire/demand.

Who wants some of this? (5/2004)
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Lions Fire Reignites 8/10 Update

Post by maverick » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:42 am

Inyo NF:
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Ferguson Fire 8/10 Update

Post by maverick » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:51 am

SIerra NF:
Ferguson Fire Morning Update for August 10, 2018
https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/…/relate…/pict ... 2238-0.pdf

Incident Start Date: 7/13/2018
Cause: Under Investigation Size: 95,544 acres
Containment: 80%
Incident Type: Full Suppression
Vegetation Type: Brush and timber
Unified Command Agencies: U.S Forest Service, National Park Service and Interagency Command Team 3
Resources Assigned: Engines: 104 Water Tenders: 14 Helicopters: 14 Crews: 17 Dozers: 20 Masticators: 5
Total Personnel: 1,532

Current Situation:
Containment has increased to 80 percent. Firefighters are progressing towards full containment with the objective of keeping the fire out of Yosemite Valley. The final piece that must be secured remains between El Portal Road and Wawona Road. To secure this line, firefighters are implementing tactical burning operations along Wawona
road north towards Turtle Dome. This operation is expected to take two or three days to complete. Night and day resources are focused on this operation. Progression will be slow and deliberate, when safe, due to the extremely dry vegetation and potential for spotting into the Grouse Creek Drainage. Aerial support from helicopters will assist firefighters on the ground to cool the fire and reduce the risk of fire spotting across the fire line.
Elsewhere on the fire, crews are patrolling the contained fire line. Suppression repair resources are working to remove
signs of suppression activity and prevent erosion.

Weather: Temperatures today will range between 97 and 106. However, relative humidity will be between 12 and 22
percent, slightly higher than previous days. This will be advantageous to firefighting efforts. The inversion will be present this morning. The smoke is not expected to clear until early afternoon.

Closures and Restrictions:
U.S Forest Service: A closure order is in effect Groveland Ranger District in the vicinity of the Ferguson Fire on
the Stanislaus National Forest. The Sierra National Forest Closure due to the Ferguson Fire can be found at the
Sierra National Forest website.
Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Valley, Wawona Road, the Mariposa and Merced groves of giant sequoias,
Hetch Hetchy, among other areas, are closed. For more information, go to nps.gov/yose or call 209-372-0200.

Road Closures:
-Highway 140 (El Portal Road) east from the entrance of Yosemite National Park
-Wawona Road open to Yosemite West.
-Yosemite Valley

Evacuations:
-Yosemite Valley (Residence and Employees only were allowed to enter at 10 AM, August 8, 2018)

Area Opportunities: The unique Gateway Communities of Yosemite National Park are open for visitors. The Sierra and
Stanislaus National Forests have abundant outdoor recreation opportunities. Yosemite’s Tioga Road is open through the
Park, including Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, White Wolf Campground, Soda Spring, Tenaya Lake, and Lembert
Dome.
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by maverick » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:29 am

I think this is a bit reversed. Wouldn't southwesterly winds blow smoke towards the northeast?
Yes, you are correct, thanks.
Weather forecast has change, much more thunderstorm activity predicted all thru Thursday, which should clear out some of the smoke, but also could cause new fires.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Yosemite Re-opens 8/14 (Tue)

Post by maverick » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:13 pm

Yosemite NP:
Yosemite National Park is pleased to announce that Yosemite Valley will reopen to visitors on Tuesday, August 14th, at 9:00 a.m. Yosemite Valley has been closed to visitors since Wednesday, July 25th, due to impacts from the Ferguson Fire. Visitors can access Yosemite Valley from the El Portal Road (Highway 140), the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120), or the Tioga Road (Highway 120).

The Wawona Road (Highway 41) will remain closed from Wawona to Yosemite Valley for at least another week due to ongoing fire activity and firefighter operations. Park visitors should be aware that there is still active fire and smoke on the roads and people should drive with extreme caution. Delays on the roads are possible due to fire activity and ongoing firefighter operations. There will be limited hours and limited visitor services at park facilities as the park returns to normal operations.

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias will reopen to the public on Monday, August 13th, at 9:00 a.m. Visitors can access the Mariposa Grove via the South Entrance (Highway 41) and park in the newly constructed parking area. The free shuttle buses to the Mariposa Grove will begin at 9:00 am. and take visitors to the newly restored Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The Mariposa Grove reopened to visitors on June 14th, after a 3 year restoration project conducted in partnership with Yosemite Conservancy. Visitors will be able to travel to the Wawona area via the South Entrance (Highway 41). However, there is no access to Yosemite Valley via HIghway 41.

The Glacier Point Road remains closed and is expected to open when the Wawona Road (Highway 41) reopens. The Hetch Hetchy Area remains closed due to smoke impacts but is expected to reopen soon.

"We'd like to express our sincere gratitude to the firefighters and , Incident command teams for their great efforts in suppressing the Ferguson Fire. We'd also like to express our gratitude and thanks to our gateway communites who tirelessly helped visitors to the area while they were being impacted by the fire", stated Michael Reynolds, Yosemite National Park Superintendent. "This is truly a historic and unprecedented event in park history, and we are thrilled to welcome back visitors to Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove."

For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again. Updated information is also available on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/yose and on the Yosemite National Park Facebook page.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by SSSdave » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:53 pm

Just looked more closely at the Donnell fire site and maps. It appears the Ferguson is winding down while the Donnell fire will burn for weeks given the considerable roadless wilderness terrain in that zone with areas of dense heavy forest and mountain chaparral. With the lack of infrastructure and structures in the burning areas (the SR108 coridor at Dardenelles has already burned out) I would expect resources will tend to be moved to other fires in the state. Thus smoke is likely to continue to plague the central Sierra.

Like the Ferguson Fire that started along SR140 highway near the Savage Trading Post, the Donnell Fire was also highly likely a human caused fire, as it began at the inlet end of the deep narrow reservoir. The lake is a well known target for a few fishermen with small boats or kayaks that are strong enough to manage carrying such about 3/5 mile over two gated fences and into the lake at the dam. The draw are large trout given few able to get in there. And a primary target on the body is the Stanislaus River inlet area at the end of the lake where fish are attracted by the oxygenated water and cold inflows. And that is exactly where the fire started at. Note there is an accessible forest flat just above the inlet where I'll speculate a campfire escaped.

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Donnell Fire Update 8/11

Post by maverick » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:30 am

InciWeb:
Fire Information Line: (209) 536-5388 donnellfirestf1918@gmail.com
LOCATION: Stanislaus National Forest
DATE STARTED: August 1, 2018
ACRES: 23,824
PERCENT CONTAINED: 5%
STRUCTURES THREATENED: 220 STRUCTURES DESTROYED: 55
INJURIES/ACCIDENTS: 0
MINOR STRUCTURES DESTROYED: 81
TOTAL PERSONNEL: 643 Fire Resources include: 6 Hand Crews, 3 Helicopters, 42 Engines, 5 Dozers, 5 Water Tenders

CURRENT SITUATION: Last night structure protection continued along Highway 108 including backfiring operations east of Douglas tract and around Baker Station. Crews also worked around the Bennett Juniper completing containment lines and allowing backfiring operations in the area, increasing protection around this legacy tree. Today’s red flag warning combined with critical fuel conditions may create the potential for rapid fire growth. Yesterday air support dropped 42,000 gallons of retardant along the Highway 108 corridor continuing structure protection in these areas. Fixed wing and helicopter support will continue today. With the increase in fire equipment and traffic around the Pinecrest area, the public is reminded to drive extra cautiously at this time.

RECREATION RESIDENCE AND FACILITY UPDATE: Mi-Wok/Summit District Ranger Sarah LaPlante completed contacting all permittees affected by the fire yesterday. A Forest Closure Order for the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness on the Summit and Calaveras Ranger Districts went into effect yesterday. Spicer Reservoir is also within the closure area, campgrounds are open, but the lake is closed to visitor use. Highway 108 is still closed at Eagle Meadow Road from the west and at the top of Sonora Pass on the east side. The Alpine County Sheriff’s Office has closed the gate at the junction of Highway 4 and Highlands Lake Road (Forest Service Road 8N01). The Pacific Crest Trail has also been closed between Highway 108 and Highway 4 for public safety.

Mandatory Evacuations: In effect along Highway 108 from Eagle Meadow Road to Kennedy Meadows (all residences and campgrounds) as well as all along Eagle Meadow Road (5N01) and the Clark Fork Road area. No new mandatory evacuations have been ordered.

Advisory Evacuation: Mill Creek area was put into effect on August 8. For more information about the Stanislaus National Forest, visit us at www.fs.usda.gov/stanislaus, “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StanislausNF, or “follow” us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/StanislausNF. For more information on the fire please go to https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6092//
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: 2018 Fire and Smoke Impact Reports

Post by mokelumnekid » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:57 pm

Donnell Fire backcountry closures: then entire back country south of Hwy 4 from just east of Lake Alpine to Ebbetts Pass, and south to well south of Hwy 108 (Sonora PAss) is now a "no-fly zone." All roads and trails going southward from Hwy 4 are now marked as closed. See attached pdf map. I have followed this fire closely and it appears that the northern progress has not been addressed as resources were directed east along the Hwy 108 corridor. The northwest finger that has rounded the western edge of the Dardanelles is approaching the high water mark along the southern edge of Spicer's Res. which is a natural fire break. The northeast finger is propagating up Arnot Ck. and one assumes that resources will be brought into the Highland Lakes area to deal with that. Since most of that country is formal wilderness mechanized operations are not allowed. It seems doubtful that the fire will propagate northward crossing the N. Fk. Stanislaus drainage into the N. Fk. Mokelumne drainage...but this year has been full of surprises. :puke:
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Lions Fire Reignites 8/12 Update

Post by maverick » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:24 am

Inyo NF:
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Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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