Yosemite National Park Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

November 06, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017


Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast

Today: Sunny. Highs 57 to 67 at 5000 feet...52 to 60 at 8000 feet.

Tonight: Mostly clear. Lows 34 to 44 at 5000 feet...28 to 38 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Highs 50 to 58 at 5000 feet...45 to 53 at 8000 feet.


Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:

Yosemite Valley  |  Wawona  |  Tuolumne Meadows  |  Glacier Point |  Big Oak Flat  |  Hetch Hetchy  |  El Portal  |  Mariposa | Badger Pass






Project Initiation Training Today 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.  (E. Davenport)



Glacier Point Road - Temporary Closure Due to Incoming Winter Storm

The Glacier Point Road will be closed Thursday evening due to an incoming winter storm, and will remain closed through the weekend. The road will remain open to Admin Traffic only.  The road will be re-opened to the public when it is safe to do so.  (E. Scott)



Operational Leadership 12/5 to 12/6

The next Operational Leadership 16-hour course is scheduled for Tuesday, December 5th and December 6th in the Valley SAR training room. Contact mike_doyle@nps.gov at 209-379-1072 for more information.  (M. Doyle)



Yosemite Valley Parking and Road Construction Update - 11/1/17

Contractors will continue to work on Northside Drive between Sentinel Drive and Camp 4 through November 13th. The traffic configuration will remain the same, with Northside Drive between the Yosemite Falls crossing and Camp 4 limited to one westbound lane and eastbound traffic through Yosemite Lodge. Final paving of Northside Drive will take place in spring of 2018.


Work will also continue at the Camp 4 parking area with parking for campers available across the street at the Yosemite Falls parking area. Contractors also plan to complete Camp 4 by November 13th. 


Masons will continue work on the masonry headwalls on Northside Drive in the west end of Yosemite Valley and the El Portal Road between Pohono Bridge and the Big Oak Flat intersection.  (L. Acree)



Thank You

YNP Child Care Center students send out a huuuuuuge thank you for all the festive decorations, costumes, treats, and tricks you shared with us for Halloween. It's great to see everyone having fun at work!  (E. Davenport)






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)



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.


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

Air Quality: https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/aqmonitoring.htm  (L. Murphy)






Ongoing construction projects or other longer-term events that might impact travel will be moved here from “New and Happening Today” instead of to “Recent News.” These items will remain as long as the event is ongoing and will therefore not be cleaned out at the end of each week like “Recent News.”


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