Yosemite National Park Thursday, October 26th, 2017

October 26, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
Thursday, October 26th, 2017
 
Today: Sunny. Highs 72 to 82 at 5000 feet...63 to 73 at 8000 feet.
TonightClear. Lows 44 to 54 at 5000 feet...37 to 47 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow
:  Sunny. Highs 71 to 81 at 5000 feet...63 to 73 at 8000 feet.
 
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
 
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NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
 
YOSE Deputy Fire Chief Deron Mills Retirement
Hardly seems possible! Deputy Fire Chief Deron Mills will be retiring next week on October 31st after a long and distinguished 34 year fire career. Deron Mills is a humble person and is not one that likes attention but given his commitment to the Yosemite Fire program, to the National Park Service and our Interagency partners (as a Type 2 IC) for the last 34 years, you might like to know a little bit about his contributions to Yosemite. 
 
Yosemite Firefighter: 1984 - 1988
Crane Flat Asst Helitack Foreman: 1988
El Portal Engine Captain: 1989
Firefighter - Dept of the Navy: 1989 - 1991
El Portal Station Capt:  1991 - 1997
Yosemite Zone FMO/Operations: 1997 - 2008
Yosemite Deputy Chief:  2008 - 2017
Type 2 Incident Commander - South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team
 
Deron leaves a legacy of mentoring outstanding up-and-coming firefighters in both the structure fire world and the wildland fire world. Over the last 10 years, Deron provided leadership for the new Wawona Fire Station. His guidance and vision was instrumental in modernizing fire infrastructure throughout the park. The Wawona Fire Station provided the base for operations this year for the South Fork and Empire fires. Without this facility, efforts would have been much less efficient in supporting firefighters, protecting communities and managing wildfires which turned out to be one of the biggest seasons for managing beneficial landscape wildfires.
 
A retirement party will be held in his honor on Saturday, Nov 18th in Oakhurst, CA.  Please RSVP no later than 11/06 to deronmillsretirement@gmail.com.  You can also send a note to this same email if you would like to have your experiences and/or well wishes to Deron read at his retirement party.
 
Congratulations Deron on a well earned and well deserved retirement!  May you have many happy, healthy trails ahead free of middle-of-the-night team calls!  (K. Martin)
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YNPCCC Halloween Parade
The children of the Yosemite National Park Child Care Center will be trick-or-treating in offices and businesses Yosemite Village and the El Portal Warehouse between 9:30 and 11:00 am on Tuesday, October 31st. The kids are grateful for small treats, tricks, and/or general compliments on their adorable costumes! Thank you in advance!  (E. Davenport)
 
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RECENT NEWS
 
Fire Inspections In Government Housing Units
Buildings and Grounds will be conducting fire inspections in all permanent housing units over the next two weeks. Please be on the look out for tags on your doors with a date of inspection. (S. Kincaid)
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Power Outages During Week of October 30
The NPS Facilities Division is conducting Electric Power System Studies and ARC Flash Hazard Reduction Analysis. 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 outage schedule for the week of October 30th is as follows: 
 
October 30, 0800-1600
Area(s) affected: Yosemite Hospitality Inc. Warehouse, Upper Tecoya housing area on Indian Canyon Rd, Upper Tecoya Teacherage units (9020 Village Dr), Ansel Adams Gallery, Post Office and Wilderness Center.
 
October 31, 0800-1600
Area(s) affected: Yosemite Falls Comfort Station, Residence One, the Chapel, Union Point, all facilities at Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome Communications Site.
 
November 1, 0800-1600
Area(s) affected: Church Bowl, Majestic Hotel (formerly Ahwahnee) Majestic Hotel Bungalows, Majestic Hotel Chiller Building, Ahwahnee Lift Station, Amphitheater East of Camp Six.
 
November 2, 0800-1600
Area(s) affected: Lost Arrow Dorms and Cabins, Degnan’s, Upper Tecoya Residences on Indian Creek Rd, Village Store, Lower Tecoya Dorms.  
 
November 3, 0800-1200
Area(s) affected: Big Oak Flat Tunnel, Wawona Tunnel, and Turtle Back Dome.
 
For questions, comments or concerns contact Kerstin Henry, Branch Chief of Design and Engineering at 379-1068.  (R. Hall)
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Grand Grape Celebration Winemakers Dinner Local Rate
Yosemite Hospitality is pleased to offer a special rate for the local community to enjoy the Grand Grape Celebration held at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel for Session 2: November 8-10 (Dinner 11/9) and Session 4: November 15-17 (Dinner 11/16). Call 888-304-8993 to book and mention that you’re a Yosemite local (must have a local address) to receive the offer.  Reservations must be booked by 10/31 for Session 2 and 11/7 for Session 4. Tickets are non-refundable. Lodging is not included.  (L. Cesaro)
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House for Rent
Now accepting applications for a 2 bedroom 1 and a half bath cabin for rent. $1200 deposit and $750 rent monthly. Layout includes laundry room, full kitchen, bar that opens into the living room, wood stove and in wall propane heater for winter and a swamp cooler for the summer. The cabin is very well insulated and fully furnished including appliances, dishes, pots and pans as well as furniture. Water and satellite TV is also included in monthly rent. It is located on Triangle road near the 140 side on private property that is gated. Call Jeromey at 347-7191.  (J. Hunter)
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Vernal Fall Comfort Station Closure
The Vernal Fall water system and comfort station will close for the season on Monday, October 30. There will be no potable water available beyond the Happy Isles trail head.  The composting toilets located at Emerald Pool and Little Yosemite Valley will remain open through winter. (K. Korwin)
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Hydro Seeding on Southside Drive
Mach 8 Bio will be hydro seeding this week in Yosemite Valley, beginning on Southside drive and continuing to the new round about and camp 6 and then on to Northside Drive, in the area from the wood lot to the 120 intersection. Traffic control is in effect.  (L. Galloway)
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John Muir Trail 
The John Muir Trail from Clark Point to the John Muir Trail/Panorama junction is closed indefinitely due to trail damage along the Ice Cut. (J. Hoeflich)
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Fire Update 10/24/2017
Last week, the park experienced a strong stable air mass over the area bringing warmer than normal temperatures and lower humidity. This contributed to more fire activity and more smoke production as the Empire fire moved through some heavier fuels. The smoke has been flowing into Yosemite Valley and is unable to lift out due to the stagnation. There was a  brief respite on Friday and Saturday, but this pattern is expected to return and may continue throughout the week. There is potential for periods of heavier smoke to occur during certain times in Yosemite Valley throughout this period. Dense smoke can aggravate symptoms for sensitive persons and activity should be reduced or avoided.
 
​There are multiple fires burning in Yosemite National Park's wilderness. Fire Managers are working with the local Air Quality Districts and will be monitoring smoke impacts to the park and local communities.
 
Empire 
Discovered: 7/31/17
Location: 1 mile east of Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area and 3/4 mile south of Glacier Point Road
Size: 8,094 acres Cause: Lightning Containment: 85% Fuels: Red fir
​Moving east deeper into the wilderness. Burning into the old “Meadow Fire” footprint in the Illilouette drainage producing moderate smoke.  This area has shrubs and heavier dead and down fuel. The trajectory of the fire will likely take it in the direction of sparser fuels later in the week, which should reduce smoke production.
Visible from vistas along the Glacier Point road
 
South Fork 
Discovered: 8/13/17
Location: .75 miles east of the community of Wawona
Size: 7,564 acres Cause: Lightning Containment: 90%
Fuels: Mixed conifer and red fir 
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 Fire activity has been minimal this week.
 
Starr King 
Discovered: 8/2/17
Location: N 37° 42.965' x W 119° 29.588' at approximately 7800 feet elevation
Size: 70 acres Cause: Lightning Spread Potential: Low/ Moderate
Fuels: Red fir/ Lodgepole    Strategy: Monitor
Visible from the Glacier Point Road.
 
Porcupine
Discovered: 8/2/17
Location: N 37° 49.336' x W 119° 34.720' at approximately 8154 feet elevation off Tioga road.  
Size: 9 acres  Cause: Lightning Spread Potential: Low
Fuels: creeping: burning in duff and dead and down in Lodgepole/Red fir
Strategy: Monitor
Visible burning next to the Tioga road. 
 
Ribbon
Discovered: 9/26/17
Location: 37 45.3 by119 38.5 at approximately 8154 feet elevation off Tioga road.  
Size: 2 Acres    Cause: Lightning Spread Potential: Low
Fuels: Low brush   Strategy: Monitor
Visible from Sentinel Dome and Glacier Point ​
 
​​These fires are burning in designated Wilderness. Lightning ignited fires In Wilderness are often allowed to burn if they do not threaten developed areas. The Yosemite Wilderness is a fire adapted ecosystem where past fire suppression has resulted in unnaturally high fuel levels. Allowing fires to burn unimpeded produces a healthier, more diverse forest and helps reduce the severity of future fires. 
Updates will be issued on Fridays.​ (L. Murphy)
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Bracebridge Dinner Volunteer Registration
At this time of year Yosemite Hospitality wants all interested Yosemite Valley residents to register to participate in non-speaking parts in the Bracebridge Dinners held at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel this December. Performances and waiting periods during the evening are long, and you may need to kneel and be in reasonably good shape!  Sign up today with Cynthia McFann, Assistant Bracebridge Coordinator.  Please email your information Cyndwa@sbcglobal.net prior to the cutoff date of Monday, November 20, 2017.  You will receive back the required application which then must be completed and turned in to the production staff in order to be considered as part of the cast. Cynthia can be reached at 559-641-6326.  Please leave a voicemail with name, mailing & email address, phone number, and work unit. All “regular” participants must also contact Cynthia. (C. McFann)
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Yosemite Theater 2017 Final Week October 24th through 28th 
Free admission for all employees and volunteers with NPS or any other partner organizations in Yosemite National Park
Tuesday-  YOSAR with John Dill, 
Wednesday & Thursday - MUIR Series Night 1 & 2 starring Lee Stetson, 
Friday & Saturday - Ron Kauk with Return to Balance, a Climber’s Journey movie – 
7pm show time, doors open 6:45pm, duration 90 minutes, Valley Visitor Center Theater at shuttle bus stops 5 & 9 –  Yosemite Theater shows presented by Yosemite Conservancy.  (C. Botell)
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House for Rent- Available November 1
Completely remodeled modular- 3 bedroom, 2 bath, all new appliances in both bath & kitchen. new paint & floors, deck with nice view and covered carport. Central heat & air.  Can be partly furnished or not. Has washer & dryer . Asking $1700, $1000 deposit. Home is close to Midpines on West Whitlock Road. Non-smoking, quiet area, sits on same 20 acres as owner's house so looking for quiet renter. Prefer no pets. Contact Kristi Savage at 559-696-2284 or kristispurlin@gmail.com  (K. Savage)
 
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CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS
 

Yosemite Valley Parking and Road Construction Update

Contractors will continue work on Northside Drive between Sentinel Drive and the Yosemite Lodge crossing near Yosemite Falls. Currently they are installing curbs. Flaggers will control traffic, with one lane open at a time.

 

Contractors will also continue roadwork on Northside Drive from the Yosemite Lodge intersection to just past Camp 4. The Camp 4 parking area will remain closed while contractors set wheel stops. Campers will continue to have parking available 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 remains favorable.

 

Masons will begin work on the masonry headwalls on Northside Drive in the west end of Yosemite Valley and El Portal Road between Pohono Bridge and the Big Oak Flat intersection. Work will take place during the day, with one lane closed near each headwall.  (L. Acree)

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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.
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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)
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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)

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