empire fire map 09082017


Note: Click here for Tuesday's information on the South Fork Fire in Yosemite National Park

September 13, 2017 - Fire remains quiet near the community of Wawona on the west and south flank of the fire. Sections of the north flank and the entire east flank are continuing to burn in the wilderness. Showers and thunderstorms are possible each afternoon and evening through Tuesday, with a slight increase in temperature and lower relative humidities. Gusty and erratic winds are possible with any thunderstorm that develops.

There may be some burning well interior and visible smoke with increased winds due to the storms. The fire will be monitored by aircraft and fire lookouts. As fire burns into the high country wilderness it will burn actively through pockets of dense vegetation but will then slow down as it progresses into sparse vegetation and natural granite barriers limiting smoke production. This high country wilderness area has minimal values at risk.

Update:  6,840 Acres with 47% Containment


Start date: 8/13/17 2:30 p.m.
Size: 6,840 acres
Containment: 47%
Incident Personnel: 17
Cause: Lightning
Helicopters: 1
Fuels: Mixed conifer and red fir

The following trail and area closures are in place until further notice:
  • The Swinging Bridge Trail on both the north and south sides of the South Fork of the Merced River.
  • The Chilnualna Falls Trail from Wawona Trailhead to the top of Chilnualna Falls.
  • The two mile connecting trail heading north from the top of Chilnualna Falls to the intersection of the Buena Vista Trail.
  • The Chilnualna Creek Trail from the top of Chilnualna Falls east to the intersection of the Buena Vista and Buck Camp trails (Just east of Johnson Lake).
  • Turner Meadow Trail
  • Turner Meadow intersection east to Buena Vista trail
  • Off-trail areas in the vicinity of the South Fork Fire Area, including the swimming holes north of Chilnualna Creek including all climbing routes on Wawona Dome.
Yosemite West and Wawona had only brief local smoke from fires overnight and some morning smoke in Yosemite Valley, which disperses by afternoon. Smoke dispersion will improve today and tomorrow with strengthening southwest winds in the afternoon and decreasing chance of thunderstorms. Fire Managers are working with the local Air Quality Districts and will be monitoring smoke impacts to the park and local communities. Community members who are sensitive to smoke may want to close their windows and doors, limit outdoor activity, and monitor the air quality forecast linked below for changes to the forecasted patterns.

Updates will be created on Thursdays of each week, unless there is significant change. Please see Inciweb, using the website below for the most current information.

For additional information