Yosemite National Park Friday, September 1st, 2017

September 02, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
Friday, September 1st, 2017
 
Today: Sunny in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. Areas of smoke. A 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Near the crest, chance of showers and slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon, chance of showers in the afternoon, chance of precipitation 30 percent. Highs 85 to 95 at 5000 feet...71 to 81 at 8000 feet.
Tonight: Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the evening. Areas of smoke through the night. Lows 60 to 70 at 5000 feet...47 to 57 at 8000 feet.
Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy. Areas of smoke through the day. Slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs 86 to 96 at 5000 feet...72 to 82 at 8000 feet.
 
Additional Point Forecast Weather Links:
 
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NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY
 
Evacuation Shelter for Railroad Fire
A Red Cross Shelter for Railroad Fire evacuees is available in Oakhurst. Please call 559-343-2549 for more information. The Yosemite Valley Lodge location is currently closed. (S. Miyako)
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Yosemite National Park Fire Update, Information Released on Thursday August 31st, at 11:20am
 
South Fork
Discovered: 8/13/17      Location: N 37°32 '15" x W 119° 35'54"
Size:   7,800 acres                                Cause: Unknown          
Fuels: Ponderosa Pine/White Fir           Strategy: Suppression   County: Mariposa
 
 The north and east flanks were most active yesterday as it burned into scattered heavy pockets of fuel. The south and west flanks of the fire are contained, some smoke and glow at night will be visible from Wawona as logs and brush burn interior. Weather will continue to be hot and dry through the weekend and into early next week. Fire will continue to back and flank on the north and east flanks and become more active as this weather pattern persists.
 
Crews will continue to patrol and mop-up the flanks closest to the community of Wawona and Mariposa Grove. Containment strategy is to hold and secure handline from Chilnualna Creek south towards Wawona Dome.  Sections of the north flank and the entire east flank of the fire is continuing to burn in the wilderness, and will be monitored by aircraft due to inaccessible and steep terrain.  As fire burns into the high country wilderness it will burn actively through pockets of dense vegetation but will then slow down as it progresses into sparse vegetation and natural granite barriers limiting smoke production. This high country wilderness area has few high values at risk.
 
 Area and trail closures are in place. Follow posted closure orders and maps.
 
Empire
Discovered: 8/1/17        Location: N 37° 38.673' x W 119° 37.096' at roughly 7300 feet elevation
Size: 4,250 acres         Cause: Lightning           Spread Potential: Moderate
Fuels: Red fir                Strategy: Monitor          County: Mariposa
 
Yesterday fire activity was moderate with some interior single tree torching due to early morning precipitation.  The north and west flanks of the fire are contained and holding. The east flank showed little growth yesterday and was moderated with milder weather conditions. Weather forecast for today predicts hotter and dryer conditions through the end of the week and into early next week.
 
Fire crews are implementing a perimeter control strategy for the north, west, and southern flanks of the fire to protect Bridalveil Campground, Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area, Yosemite West subdivision, Wawona Road (Highway 41), and Glacier Point road. Firing operations were successful on the south flank yesterday; today crews will hold and patrol the south flank and continue direct line construction around spot fires on the northeast flank near Ostrander trail.
 
Fire management personnel are implementing this strategy on three sides of the fire to minimize further smoke production in heavy fuels. The east flank is being allowed to move towards the Illilouette basin to continue to enhance forest resiliency in a fire adapted ecosystem. Yosemite National Park has managed fire in this wilderness area for decades. This high country wilderness area is very steep and rugged with numerous natural barriers and few high values at risk.
 
Glacier Point road is closed to the public due to fire fighter safety to conduct tree felling and vegetation clearance; conditions are being assessed as to when the road can be opened again. Additional crews and engines are on order to support these operations.
 
Starr King
Discovered: 8/2/17        Location: N 37° 42.965' x W 119° 29.588' at approximately 7800 feet elevation
Size: 32.4 acres                        Cause: Lightning                       Spread Potential: Low/ Moderate
Fuels: Red fir/ Lodgepole          Strategy: Monitor                      County: Mariposa
 
Activity has picked up and smoke will be visible from Glacier Point, Washburn Point, and Sentinel Dome.
 
Yosemite Creek
Discovered: 8/3/17        Location: N 37° 50.414' x W 119° 38.088' at approximately 7,970 feet elevation
Size: .75 acres              Cause: Lightning                       Spread Potential: Low
Fuels: Red fir                Strategy: Monitor                      County: Mariposa
 
Porcupine
Discovered: 8/2/17        Location: N 37° 49.336' x W 119° 34.720' at approximately 8154 feet elevation off Tioga road near Yosemite Creek Campground road
Size: 2.2 acres             Cause: Lightning                       Spread Potential: Low
Fuels: Lodgepole/Red fir           Strategy: Monitor                      County: Mariposa
 
Creeping and smoldering, burning in large logs which are creating smoke.  
 
Knob 91
Discovered: 8/4/17        Location 37° 52.185' x W 119° 35.217' at approximately 8980 feet elevation
Size: .39 acres              Cause: Lightning                       Spread Potential: Low
Fuels: Timber litter         Strategy: Monitor                      County: Mariposa
 
Here are the most current Central Sierra Smoke/AQ Outlooks:
 
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Railroad Fire Update, Information Released Friday Sept 1st 8:41am
Discovered: 8/29/17       Location: Between communities of Sugar Pine and Fish Camp along State Route 41
Size: 2,971 acres           
For the most current information see:  https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5553/
 
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RECENT NEWS
 
Yosemite National Park Adds Two New Shuttle Buses to Serve Park Visitors - Yosemite News Release August 29, 2017 
 
 Free shuttle service in Yosemite Valley helps reduce traffic congestion and serves over 3.7 million visitors each year 
 
Yosemite National Park has added two new shuttle buses to the park's fleet that serve over 3.7 million visitors each year. Visitors are encouraged to park their vehicles in a day-parking area, at their campground, or lodging and ride the park’s free shuttle to explore Yosemite Valley. With the addition of these two new diesel-electric hybrid buses, Yosemite National Park operates 27 shuttle buses that serve visitors in Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, and Glacier Point. These shuttle buses help alleviate traffic congestion throughout the park, cut down on fuel emissions, and provide visitors with easy transportation to popular destinations. 
 
Park visitors utilizing the free shuttle bus can visit popular Yosemite Valley destinations, such as Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Village, and El Capitan. The shuttle service in Tuolumne Meadows provides access to the visitor center, Lembert Dome, and other popular trailheads. The shuttle bus to Glacier Point brings visitors to the iconic location, in which visitors can view Yosemite Valley, Vernal, Nevada, and Yosemite Falls. 
 
The park’s shuttle fleet is operated by Yosemite Hospitality, Inc. (a subsidiary of Aramark), the park's primary concessionaire. These new buses were manufactured by New Flyer in St. Cloud, MN. The buses are 40-feet long, fully accessible and accommodate up to 74 passengers. They are powered by a diesel-electric hybrid engine that is 50 percent more efficient than standard diesel engines.  
 
"The shuttle bus system in Yosemite National Park provides visitors with easy access to popular destinations and alleviates the need to drive from one point to another throughout the park," stated Acting Superintendent Chip Jenkins. "These shuttle buses are an essential component of our visitor services operation in Yosemite National Park. We are excited to add two new buses to the fleet."
 
Yosemite National Park serves over 5 million visitors annually, including visitors who arrive by private tour bus, YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System - www.yarts.com), and in private vehicles. Park visitors provide a cumulative benefit to the local economy in our gateway communities of $686,339,500.  (J. Richards)
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Bridalveil Campground Closed
Bridalveil Campground is closed due to the Empire Fire. There is no known re-opening date at this time.  (
E. Bissmeyer)
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Glacier Point Road Closed
Glacier Point Road is closed for visitor safety and fire operations related to the Empire Fire until further notice.  (M. Roubal)
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El Capitan Meadow Improvement Project
Beginning this week, trail workers and restoration workers will construct a linear pathway and split rail fence along the northern perimeter of El Capitan meadow.  The project will protect meadow vegetation and provide improved visitor access at several viewing areas within the meadow.  (T. Newburger)
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Wildlife Data Steward Intern Position Open On Volunteer.gov 
The Terrestrial Biodiversity Program is hiring an intern to improve data stewardship in support of ongoing acoustic bat research in Yosemite. 
 
To see the posting and apply visit https://www.volunteer.gov/results.cfm?ID=16921 *Please note, if you are an employee in the wildlife division, you are not eligible for this volunteer position. 
 

If interested, please apply at the link above, and send a resume and statement of interest (300 words or fewer) to Breezy Jackson (breezy_jackson@nps.gov) by September 1st, 2017. (J. Oleksiak)

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Stagecoach Rides Have Resumed Operation
The interpretive Horse-Drawn Wagon Stage Rides in the Pioneer Yosemite History Center resumed operation Friday, August 25, 2017.  (D. Shenk)
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Room(s) for Rent
1-2 rooms for rent in a beautiful, large 4+ bed/2.5 bath home, nestled in the hills off the 140, on the border of Mariposa and Midpines. Home is on 5 quiet acres, surrounded by great views which you can see from both bedroom windows. $550/month per room, plus a portion of utilities. Discount for both rooms. Email synchronicity.support@gmail.com if you're interested.  (K. Indigo)
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Seeking Housemate in Midpines
Spacious 2000 sq. ft. Midpines home has 1 bedroom available.  Large open living room, dining room,  & kitchen.  Two refrigerators, dishwasher, oven, microwave, dining room table set & a few pieces of furniture provided. Electric HVAC, plus wood burning stove & swamp cooler.  Shared separate laundry room with washer and dryer. Huge deck on 2 sides of the house with views of distant hills. Sits on 7+ acres of beautiful rolling hills and trees just off Colorado Road and East Whitlock, 15 min. from Mariposa.  $400/month plus electric & WiFi.  No smokers.  Credit check.  Email hodges.marcia@gmail.com or call 510-207-5951.  (M. Hodges)
 
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CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS
 
Yosemite Valley Road/Construction Update
The "Narrows” will be open and drive-able all Labor Day weekend, but night work will continue at the Narrows before and after Labor Day through September. The schedule will be the same. Work will take place Sunday through Thursday nights from 8pm to 8am with the following delays:
8pm to 10pm – delays limited to 5 minutes
10pm to 6am – delays limited to 30 minutes
6am to 8am – delays limited to 5 minutes
 
Contractors will pave the pedestrian pathway between the Yosemite Village Parking Area and Yosemite Village right after Labor Day. This is the path that begins south of the Yosemite Village Market between the Art Center and Concessioner General Offices. Contractors will direct pedestrians around the work site.  (L. Acree)
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Wawona Road Delays--Update 8-21-17
Around Bridalveil & Wawona Tunnel: Crews will continue working between Southside Drive & the Rostrum: Crews will be paving between Wawona Tunnel and the Rostrum Tuesday, August  22nd, 7AM to 5PM and between Southside Drive and the Wawona Tunnel Wednesday, August 23rd, 7AM to 5PM with single lane traffic control and up to 15 minute delays.
 
Between Mosquito Creek and the Grape Vine:  Crews will be working nights, August 20th thru 25th repairing the fill slope failure approximately 2-miles north of the Wawona Campground with single lane traffic control and up to 15-minute delays between 8PM and 11PM and up to 30-minute delays between 11PM to 6AM.
 
Around South Entrance: August 21st thru August 26th there will be 30-minute delays with single lane traffic control 6AM to 8PM as paving operations begin, so there will be extensive truck traffic around South Entrance as crews begin paving the parking lots.  The following weeks of August 28th and September 5th the 30-minute delays will continue as crews continue paving operations and preparation for paving on Wawona Road and Mariposa Grove Road.
 
Big Oak Flat Road Delays:  Crews will be working nights, August 20th thru the 23rd repairing the cut slope and repairing the ditch approximately 2-miles north of the Foresta Road intersection with single lane traffic control and up to 15-minute delays between 8PM and 11PM and up to 30-minute delays between 11PM and 6AM.
 
El Portal Road Delays: Crews will be working nights, August 23rd thru the 25th to begin repairing the El Portal Road, the adjacent cut slope and ditch which is located approximately 0.5 miles east of the western Park boundary.  The delays are anticipated to be 15-minutes between 8PM and 11PM and up to 30-minute delays between 11PM to 6AM.  (M. Pieper)

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