Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
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Tuesday, October 10th, 2017
Today: Sunny. Highs 64 to 72 at 5000 feet...55 to 63 at 8000 feet.
Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 38 to 48 at 5000 feet...28 to 38 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Sunny, breezy. Highs 59 to 67 at 5000 feet...49 to 57 at 8000 feet. Southwest winds around 25 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 40 mph over higher elevations.
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
Yosemite Forum Today
"How - and why - Yosemite changed America" by Dr. Craig Jones, University of Colorado, Boulder
The national park concept first appeared in 1864 in Yosemite. Was this because Yosemite just happened to be the first large glacial gorge in the Sierra to gain national attention? Or is Yosemite in fact special, and if so, why? This talk will examine Yosemite’s influence in shaping American culture, and derives from Dr. Jones’ new book “The mountains that remade America: Science, society, and the Sierra Nevada”.
The Forum will take place today, October 10th from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in the Yosemite Valley Auditorium. Please contact Greg Stock at 379-1420 for additional information. (G. Stock)
PaymentNet Training for Charge Card Holders
In addition to the group sessions in the EP large break room (ref: the 4 Oct Admin Newsletter), training will also be aired in the Valley Admin Lobby. Seating is limited so it will be first come, first served. Dates and times are: 17 Oct, 1pm; 18 Oct, 10am; 24 Oct, 1pm and 25 Oct, 10am. (L. Schafer)
Join Wilderness For A Day In The Field
Are you curious about a wilderness ranger's job? Want to pick the brain of a fellow ranger? Get your hands dirty in the field? Hike a trail new to you?
NPS employees are welcome to join us for a fall clean up of Wilderness campsites and fire rings on October 18. Plan for a day of hiking and hauling in the field from 8 to 5. Location is weather/road dependent.
If you are interested, and have supervisor approval, please RSVP by email to Naomi by 10/16/17. Location of work, what to pack, carpooling etc to come in a follow up email. Any questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. (N. Chakrin)
Electric Studies and ARC Flash Analysis
The NPS Facilities Division will be conducting Electric Power System Studies and ARC Flash Hazard Reduction Analysis beginning on October 16th. These studies are to comply with OSHA regulations and better protect employees, residents and visitors and improve reliability of the electric distribution systems. The project requires extensive data collection of the electric system components and protective devices. The data is then fed into analysis software that will identify potential hazards and deficiencies of the system for correction at a later phase of the project. The project areas include Yosemite Valley, NPS utility facilities in Wawona and NPS facilities in El Portal as well as the Trailer Court.
In order for project personnel to safely collect the data for the analysis, numerous power outages will be required over the coming weeks. Project personnel will strive to make the disruptions as painless as possible but safety of personnel collecting the data will be of highest importance.
More specific outage information will be forthcoming as the project schedule is formalized. Expect outages to last 6-8 hours a day for consecutive days in a row at various locations in the project areas. The Project Manager will strive to provide specific outage location and duration 3-5 days in advance of the outages. The collection of field data is expected to last 2-3 months with outages occurring every other week throughout the data collection phase of the project.
Thank you for your understanding and patience during this very important project.
For questions, comments or concerns contact Kerstin Henry, Branch Chief of Design and Engineering, (209) 379-1068. (R. Hall)
Fire Update - October 6th
Yosemite National Park is grateful to our Firewise communities who support the use of prescribed fire. Given the long summer of wildfires this year, the park appreciates your understanding that prescribed fires also have a place on our landscapes during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Prescribed fire is a very important tool for reducing excessive fuel build up near our communities in order to reduce severity of future fires.
Yosemite National Park fire managers are planning two prescribed fires with planned ignitions starting on October 14th in the Mariposa Grove, weather conditions permitting, and continuing in Soupbowl for the week of October 15th. The amount of acres to be considered is based on air quality the day of planned ignition.
Mariposa Grove: This project includes two small burn units that total 84 acres. Burning in the Mariposa Grove is a continuous process; the targeted areas have had 1-3 prescribed fires in the past 30 years. Continued burning is required to maintain a healthy forest ecosystem. Fire produces the optimum conditions for Giant Sequoia regeneration. Fire not only removes the accumulated layers of dead woody debris exposing nutrient rich mineral soil, but is needed to dry the cones and allow the seeds to shed. In addition, by reducing the number of trees and undergrowth, wildfire opens up the forest canopy and reduces shade-tolerant competition.The Mariposa Grove is still closed for restoration which provides fire managers the opportunity to conduct prescribed fire.
Soupbowl: 2-3 land segments ranging from 103 acres to 174 acres are being considered for a prescribed burn in the Unit 26 Soupbowl B project area along the Wawona Road (Highway 41 corridor).
The primary objective is to reduce hazardous vegetation (fuel) around the Wildland Urban Interface community of Wawona and park infrastructure at the South Entrance. Prescribed fire will help create a continuous fuel break by linking other recent wildfire areas with reduced fuels, mechanical thinning projects, and previous prescribed fires. This project will also reduce the threat of wildfires originating along Highway 41 that could adversely impact the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.
Park employees, community members, and visitors can expect to see crews from various federal and state agencies working along the Highway 41 corridor doing prescribed fire preparation and burn operations. Traffic control will be in place during burn operations and delays should be short. Please use caution when entering and exiting for firefighter safety.
Smoke will be present during prescribed fire and in the Wawona area. Fire managers are working with the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District (MCAPD) to time the projects to coincide with favorable weather and smoke dispersion conditions. Smoke, affecting health, is always a consideration in the decision to schedule prescribed fires. A smoke management plan has been submitted to the MCAPCD, and a burn permit has been issued for both burn units. A smoke monitor will be placed in nearby communities to monitor smoke.
Weather conditions: High pressure will slowly build over the region for the next few days. A slow warming and drying trend will continue with winds remaining mainly terrain driven. By Friday easterly winds will develop resulting in further drying.
For additional Information:
Yosemite National Park Fire Information website: http://www.nps.gov/
Facebook: Search-- Yosemite Fire and Aviation: @YosemiteFire
Twitter: Search @YosemiteFire https://twitter.
Current fire and air quality conditions: https://airnow.
CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS
Wawona Road Delays - Update 9-27-17
Around South Entrance: There will be 30-minute delays with single lane traffic control 6AM to 8PM as paving operations continue, so there will be extensive truck traffic around South Entrance as crews continue grading and paving the roadways and parking lots. The 30-minute delays will continue thru September and October as crews continue grading and paving operations.
Between the Rostrum and the Wawona Tunnel: There will be up to 15-minute delays 8PM to 6AM as crews continue with culvert-shoulder-ditch repairs.
El Portal Road Delays - Update 9-27-17
Crews have started working days and nights, completing storm-slide repairs on the El Portal Road between the western park boundary (Yosemite View Lodge) and the Big Oak Flat Intersection. The following delays should be anticipated while traveling the El Portal Road between the western park boundary and the Big Oak Flat Intersection:
8pm to 10pm – delays limited to 15 minutes
10pm to 6am – delays limited to 30 minutes
6am to 8am – delays limited to 15 minutes
8am to 3:30pm -- delays limited to 30 minutes
3:30pm to 5:30pm -- delays limited to 15 minutes (M. Pieper)
Big Oak Flat Road Construction
Road crews will be working from the long tunnel on BOF /HWY 120, working westward, starting September 20th. Expect short delays. Please drive slowly in the work zone, watching for workers, equipment and debris on the road. This project is expected to last up to 4 weeks, with operations being done on Monday-Thursday, 0700-1600 and some Fridays. (B. Brantley)
Yosemite Valley Parking and Road Construction Update
Contractors began repaving the Sentinel Bridge Parking area and adjacent road on Wednesday 9/27. Sentinel Drive will be restricted to one-lane, one-way southbound traffic during work hours. Traffic that would normally travel northbound on Sentinel Drive will detour eastbound on Southside Drive to Stoneman Bridge and loop back on Northside Drive through Ahwahnee Meadow to the roundabout. The shuttle bus will stop on the bridge to let passengers off and pick up passengers. Sentinel Drive will open to two-way traffic during non-work hours. Contractors expect to finish work in this area on 10/6.
Night work will continue under a new schedule on the El Portal Road between the Big Oak Flat intersection and Pohono Bridge. Work will take place from 8pm to 6am, with alternating one-way traffic and a pilot car. Delays will be a maximum of ½ hour.
Work will continue at the four-way intersection at Half Dome Village near Stoneman Bridge. Flaggers will route traffic headed to Half Dome Village in a one-way clockwise loop going eastbound on the Happy Isle Loop Rd then coming back northbound on Curry Village Dr. Contractors hope to pave and finish work in this area the first week in October.
Construction work at the Camp 4 parking area will continue and campers will park across the street at the Yosemite Falls parking area. Northside Drive between the Yosemite Falls crossing and Camp 4 will remain limited to one westbound lane. Eastbound traffic will continue to travel through Yosemite Lodge. The contractors hope to complete this work by Thanksgiving if the weather is good. If not, the parking area and roads will be open for the holidays. (L. Acree)