August 5, 2018 Fergsuon Fire Road Hazards
August 8, 2018 -
Engines: 157 Water Tenders: 18 Helicopters: 14 Crews: 25 Dozers: 28 Masticators: 5 Total Personnel: 2,039
The Ferguson Fire is 94,992 acres and has been burning for 27 days. Containment has reached 43 percent and that number is expected to increase today. Evacuated residents who were affected by the fire are beginning to return home and communities in the area are open for business. Yosemite’s Tioga Road is open through the Park, including Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center, White Wolf Campground, Soda Spring, Tenaya Lake, and Lembert Dome. Yosemite Valley remains closed.
Vegetation along steep terrain continues to burn between the Big Oak Flats Road and El Portal Road moving toward the Cascade Falls picnic area. Firefighters completed a successful burnout operation last night over the tunnel. Securing the fire at Cascade Falls area is critical to prevent the movement of fire into the Valley and spreading to the South Rim and North Rims of the Valley. This finger of the fire, also effects all the major roads entering Yosemite Valley; Big Oak Flats Road, El Portal Road and Wawona Road. Hotshot crews are constructing and reinforcing direct hand line from North Wamona Road around the fires edge to Glaciar Point Road and west to Chinquapin. Spot fires, small fires detected outside the perimeter have been identified and crews are working on containment of those spots.
Combination of hand line and dozer lines are in place protecting the communities Foresta and Yosemite West. Structure protection remains in place; however, the fire activity is minimal. Crews are completing a hand line in the Crane Creek drainage above El Portal. This hand line will follow the fire’s edge and tie into the containment lines around Foresta. residents should expect delays travelling between Wawona and Yosemite West as firefighters clear the road. Firefighters and utility crewmembers will continue working in the communities restoring power and reducing hazards created by the fire.
Residents and visitors returning to the area should be cautions of the smoky conditions, since the weather on the fire will remain the same today. The stable atmosphere continues to aid the firefighters in reaching full suppression. The lack of updrafts and strong winds reduces the probability of long range spot fires; however, the vegetation is extremely dry and the probability of that vegetation igniting with an ember is ninety percent. As a result, without a large developed smoke column, the embers will not travel far from the heat source. The inversion created by these weather conditions are beneficial for fire operations however, the smoke in the valley will not significantly improve until the weather changes. Air quality and health advisories are available at the Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program for the Yosemite area and Southern Sierra area.
Suppression repair efforts are underway on a large portion of the fire perimeter. This may include using heavy equipment to build water bars, bring in berms and vegetation. Repairing dozer lines and hand lines is important in order to reduce erosion during future storms and to allow vegetation regrowth. This also helps restore the habitat of the local flora and fauna. Repairs also include protection of cultural/archaeological sites.
Stanislaus National Forest closure: Stanislaus National Forest officials closed several roads and trails on the Groveland Ranger District within the vicinity of the Ferguson Fire. The closure order spans from Ferguson Ridge in the south to Pilot Ridge in the north. The closure is expected to be in effect until Sept. 30.
Yosemite National Park closure: 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.
Mandatory Evacuations: Areas that are currently under a mandatory evacuation include:
Yosemite Valley (Residence only will be allowed to enter at 10 AM, August 8, 2018)
Highway 140 east from the entrance of Yosemite National Park
Red Cross Shelter:
New Life Christian Fellowship: 5089 Cole Road, Mariposa, CA 95338Red Cross Shelter is located at New Life Christian Fellowship, 5089 Cole Road, Mariposa, CA.
Small animals: Central California Animal Disaster Team (CCADT) at 888-402-2238, ext. 700
Large animals: Mariposa Fairgrounds, 5007 Fairgrounds Road, Mariposa, CA 95338