Yosemite National Park Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

October 31, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
Daily Report - Yosemite National Park
clark range, yosemite, 10.30.17
clark range - yosemite - 10.30.17 bwclark range - yosemite - 10.30.17 bw
Tuesday, October 31st, 2017
Today: Sunny. Highs 59 to 69 at 5000 feet...53 to 63 at 8000 feet.
TonightClear. Lows 37 to 47 at 5000 feet...30 to 40 at 8000 feet.
Sunny. Highs 56 to 66 at 5000 feet...51 to 59 at 8000 feet.
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
Trick Or Treat Today
Child Care Center  9:30-11
The students 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 Halloween. They look forward to showing off their costumes! (E. Davenport)
Valley School 1pm
The children of the Yosemite NP Valley School will be trick-or-treating in offices and businesses in Yosemite Village beginning at 1pm on Tuesday, October 31st. The kids are grateful for the opportunity to visit the local community! Thank you in advance!  (C. Archer)
Fall Bear Dance Saturday
The American Indian Council of Mariposa County is holding its Fall Bear Dance Ceremony this Saturday night in the Indian village and roundhouse. Please remove all government vehicles from the parking lot by between the Emergency Services Complex and the AT&T building by Saturday afternoon to facilitate parking for the event.  (J. Hoeflich)
Hetch Hetchy Day Use Hours and Wilderness Permits
Self-registration wilderness permits will be available at the Hetch Hetchy Entrance during day use hours. The current day use hours are 8am to 7pm through October 31st. Beginning November 1st the hours will be 8am to 5pm. Bear canister rentals may not be available.  (C. Flores)
Project Initiation Training Wednesday 8:30-4:30 - El Portal Large Break Room 
This training is co-hosted by facility management and project management to help current and future project managers navigate the project initiation, development, and compliance processes. Anyone is welcome, even if you attended this training in the past. This training opportunity will address: 
- What is the project management information system? 
- How can i help my project compete better for funding? 
- What is the servicewide comprehensive call? 
- How do i develop a cost estimate for my project? 
- When should i start the compliance process? 
- What is the project planning meeting and how can it help my project? 
- What happens at the monthly planning forum? 
- What are nepa, nhpa, and tribal consultation?
- How is a wilderness or river plan project different from other projects?
- What is the development advisory board and is it relevant to my project? 
Please RSVP to erin_davenport@nps.gov if you plan to attend.  (E. Davenport)
Research Library Closed November 6-24
The Research Library will be closed from November 6th to the 24th. Please contact the Museum or the Archives for assistance: https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/historyculture/collections.htm  (V. Sanchez)
Fall Color Advisory
All spring and summer leaves have been using pigments (chlorophylls, xanthophyll, and carotenoids) to make food from air, water, and sunlight. As temperatures cool and days get shorter, leaves on deciduous trees stop producing chlorophylls and the familiar green color fades away to reveal the other pigments which have been masked all season. Quaking aspen and big-leaf maple display the yellow carotenoids. Continued sunny days and cool nights trap sugars in leaves and some leaves will form the red pigment anthocyanin, coloring trees like dogwoods or the non-native sugar maple across from the Chapel, or vines like the poison-oak along the El Portal Road a brilliant orange, pink, or even purple. The best autumn colors occur under clear, dry, and cool but not freezing weather. The degree of color may vary from tree to tree and even leaf to leaf. Leaves directly exposed to the sun may turn red, while shaded leaves may be yellow. Leaves on some trees like white alders or California buckeyes (which are "summer deciduous" as a drought adaptation) just wither and turn brown. Leaves on marsescent trees, like some California black oaks, will linger all winter and only fall next spring when new leaves emerge. Live oaks, tanoaks, bay laurel and the conifers will keep their newest leaves throughout the winter to get a head start on food production next spring. (Adapted from Why Leaves Change Color, USDA FS-12 and Physiology of Woody Plants, Kramer and Kozlowski, by Brian Mattos)  (K. Shive)
Power Outages This Week
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.  
If your facility or building has standby or emergency power, these outages will not affect that capability. If you are unsure if your building or facility has standby or emergency power, contact your facility manager or supervisor for additional information.  Do not connect a generator to the building electrical system unless performed by a qualified electrician with the appropriate transfer switch, and only if approved by the Facilities Management Division.
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)
Fire Update - October 27
Several fires remain visible throughout 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.
Last weekend the system that moved through offered a respite from the smoky conditions.   Yosemite is now experiencing a strong stable air mass over the area bringing warmer temperatures and lower humidity that will likely continue throughout the week. Drift smoke may flow down into the valley in the mornings which will be compounded with campfires in the valley until the morning inversion lifts. 
Fires in Yosemite during 2017
12 fires that were human caused and suppressed.
22 lightning fires: 12 burned themselves out, 5 suppressed and declared out, 5 active.
Discovered: 7/31/17     
Location: East of Glacier Point Road, primarily in the Illilouette Basin.
Size: 8,094 acres          Cause: Lightning           Containment: 85%         Fuels: Red fir   
Moving east deeper into the wilderness. Backing through past fire scars towards the Illilouette basin.  This area has shrubs and heavier dead and down fuel which may produce moderate smoke. The trajectory of the fire will likely take it in the direction of sparser fuels and higher elevation in the coming 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 activity has been minimal this week. There is currently no smoke or activity where the progression halted at Johnson Creek.  There is minimal activity on the eastern flank N.E. of Chilnualna Creek.
Starr King
Discovered: 8/2/17       
Location: N 37° 42.965' x W 119° 29.588' at approximately 7800 feet elevation
Size: 75  acres              Cause: Lightning          Spread Potential: Low/ Moderate
Fuels: Red fir/ Lodgepole.    
Strategy: Monitor
Visible from the Glacier Point Road.Creeping and smoldering on the eastern edge.                  
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.  
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, no active growth        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.  (L. Murphy)
Prescribed Fire Update - October 30 
Yosemite National Park fire managers are planning prescribed fire in the Mariposa Grove during the window of 4-14 of November, weather conditions permitting. Rangers expect to have a few days of smoke associated with this burn. 
Over 100 years of aggressive fire exclusion throughout the Sierra Nevada Range has dramatically altered forested ecosystems.  Historically, natural fires burned an average of 16,000 acres annually in Yosemite and played an integral role in shaping forest structure and creating important wildlife habitat. In the absence of frequent fire, unnatural levels of forest fuel have accumulated, putting many of Yosemite’s natural and cultural values at risk. Applying fire under prescribed conditions mimics the frequent, low intensity lightning caused fires that occurred in the Sierras prior to the exclusion of fire. 
The Mariposa Grove project includes two to three burn units that total under 200 acres.  Fire managers want to take advantage of the Mariposa Grove closure for a major restoration project to conduct the burn, minimizing impacts to public. Burning in the Mariposa Grove is a continuous process; the targeted areas have had 1-3 prescribed fires in the past 30 years, and continued burning is required to maintain healthy forest conditions.  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 fire 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.
Additional fire management activity in Yosemite
- Fuel reduction projects include thinning and piling in the Mariposa Grove and within the community of Wawona for hazard fuel reduction.
- Pile burning throughout the park will be conducted after receiving precipitation and during permissive burn days.
- The Soupbowl prescribed burn project has been canceled.
Smoke may be present during the prescribed fire and in the Wawona area.  Fire managers are working with the Mariposa County Air Pollution District (MCAPCD) to time the project to coincide with favorable weather that will facilitate good air quality, and disperse smoke into the atmosphere away from the community.  Prior to ignition, smoke monitoring equipment will be installed in the community and a burn permit will be issued to the park by MCAPCD.  Community members who are sensitive to smoke may want to close their windows and doors and/or consider leaving the area during active ignition of the project in order to reduce their exposure.
For additional Information:
Fire Information:  Yose_Fire_Info@nps.gov(209) 379-1493
Yosemite National Park Fire Information website:  http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm
Facebook: Search-- Yosemite Fire and Aviation: @YosemiteFire
Twitter:  Search @YosemiteFire https://twitter.com/YosemiteFire

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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