Yosemite National Park Friday, September 8th, 2017

September 08, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Daily Report - Yosemite National Park

Friday, September 8th, 2017

 

Yosemite National Park Zone Forecast

Today: Sunny in the morning, then mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs 74 to 81 at 5000 feet...63 to 71 at 8000 feet. Gusts up to 40 mph in the afternoon.

Tonight: Mostly cloudy in the evening then becoming partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the evening. Near the crest, mostly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms in the evening, then partly cloudy with a slight chance of showers after midnight, chance of precipitation 20 percent. Lows 50 to 60 at 5000 feet...38 to 48 at 8000 feet.

Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy. Near the crest, slight chance of showers in the morning. Chance of showers and slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation 50 percent. Highs 73 to 80 at 5000 feet...62 to 70 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

 

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NEW AND HAPPENING TODAY

 

Fire Update September 7th, 2017

There are multiple fires burning in Yosemite National Park's wilderness. An upper level low pressure will reside off the central California coast through Friday brining slightly cooler temperatures. Humidities will trend slightly lower by Friday.

 

Railroad

The Railroad fire is 11,603 acres and 43% contained with 872 personnel. There will be a public meeting tonight,Thursday September 7 at the Mountain Christian Center 40299 Highway 49, Oakhurst at 7 pm. Fire officials will be on hand to answer any questions.Some residents in Fish camp were allowed to return to their homes. All other evacuations remain in place. Highway 41 remains closed between Fish Camp to Sky Ranch Road . Hazard tree clearing will continue along Highway 41. To access Yosemite National Park  use Highway 49 to the 140 through El Portal or the 120 from Big Oak Flat Entrance.

 

South Fork

Discovered: 8/13/17                           

Location: .75 miles east of the community of Wawona

Size: 6,640 acres        Cause: Unknown        

Containment: 47%      Fuels: Mixed conifer and red fir

 

Fire remains quiet near the community of Wawona. The most activity yesterday was on the east flank burning into the wilderness through scattered pockets of dense fuel and the south flank backing into the South Fork of the Merced. There was an increase in acreage due to more accurate mapping. An upper level low pressure will reside off the central California coast through Friday brining slightly cooler temperatures. Humidities will trend slightly lower by Friday.

 

The northern spot fire remains south of handline at Turner meadow, crews brought fire down to Chilnualna Creek to secure the spot fire with the main fire.  Patrols continue along portions of the fire closest to Wawona. There may be some burning well interior and visible smoke with increased winds due to the storms. Bucket work may be continued on the southern boundary of the fire. Both spot fires south of the South Fork of the Merced drainage were contained and secured with hose lays and handlines. Sections of the north flank and the entire east flank are continuing to burn in the wilderness, and will be monitored by aircraft due to steep and rugged 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 minimal values at risk.

 

Empire

Discovered: 8/1/17     

Location: 1 mile east of Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area and 3/4 mile south of Glacier Point Road

Size: 5,637 acres        Cause: Lightning         

Containment: 55%      Fuels: Red fir             

 

Fire activity was minimal yesterday.  Acreage has increased due to more accurate mapping.  Glacier Point Road is open. Signage and traffic control will be in place to mitigate smoke and other hazards on the road; there is a potential for implementing temporary road closures or single lane convoys from Bridalveil Camp Ground to Mono Meadow trailhead.  An upper level low pressure will reside off the central California coast through Friday brining slightly cooler temperatures. Humidities will trend slightly lower by Friday.

 

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. The north end of the fire is in monitor status, the west and south flanks of the fire are contained and holding. Areas of new smoke may be seen as the fire cleans up areas of unburned fuel interior.  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 minimal values at risk.

 

Starr King

Discovered: 8/2/17     

Location: N 37° 42.965' x W 119° 29.588' at approximately 7800 feet elevation

Size: 58 acres             Cause: Lightning         Spread Potential: Low/ Moderate

Fuels: Red fir/ Lodgepole       Strategy: Monitor                   

 

Smoke may be visible from high elevation viewpoints.

 

Yosemite Creek

Discovered: 8/3/17     

Location: N 37° 50.414' x W 119° 38.088' at approximately 7,970 feet elevation

Size: 2.3 acres            Cause: Lightning                     Spread Potential: Low

Fuels: Red fir              Strategy: Monitor                   

 

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: 3.3 acres                        Cause: Lightning         Spread Potential: Low

Fuels: Lodgepole/Red fir        Strategy: Monitor                   

 

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     

 

Dispersion will continue to improve today. However,southerly/southwesterly winds are still bringing smoke directly into Yosemite Valley, Wawona, Yosemite West, and Foresta from the Railroad Fire, and to a lesser extent from the Empire and South Fork fires. Fire Managers are working with the local Air Quality Districts and will be monitoring smoke impacts to the park and local communities. Community members who are sensitive to smoke may want to close their windows and doors, limit outdoor activity, and monitor the air quality forecast linked below for changes to the forecasted patterns. 

 

https://www.wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/2017/CentralSierraFires#Area2

https://app.airsis.com/USFS/UnitMap?custId=11&unitId=1011&isHistoric=False

https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/nature/aqmonitoring.htm  (S. Saunders)

 

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RECENT NEWS

 

Yosemite Creek Campground

Yosemite Creek Campground will remain open until noon on Monday, September 18.  (E. Bissmeyer)

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​ZLF Facelift Booth September 26 to October 1, 2017

Volunteers are needed to help staff Yosemite's Zero Landfill Initiative booth at the park's Facelift event​. ​Once Facelift begins accepting volunteers on September 27, the booth will be open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm daily. ​

 

The booth is made from materials salvaged from the park, so some assembly is required. Construction will start on the morning of September 26. We are also looking for help with tearing the booth down beginning at 3:00 pm on Sunday, October 1. Volunteers are needed  to help with both construction and tear down. If interested please contact jodi_bailey@nps.gov.  You can also sign up via this spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/a/doi.gov/spreadsheets/d/1TTNxYfWNIo8xIqQz6jeHibXsnu_fQUpvEoueBvZWo1g/edit?usp=sharing (J. Bailey)​

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Cooks Meadow Elm Tree Condition

Recently, biologists have noticed browning and defoliation of the leaves of the iconic elm tree in Cooks Meadow. Biologists believe that it has been infested by the elm-leaf beetle (Xanthogaleruca luteola). The larvae and adults consume the foliage except for the mid-veins. Defoliation of deciduous trees late in the season can stress a tree and will likely inhibit growth, but will not kill the tree. Both the elm and the elm-leaf beetle are non-native to Yosemite, however the elm tree is maintained as part of the historic landscape.  (E. Dickman)

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End of Summer Awards and Thank You Celebration September 13

All NPS and YC employees are invited to the 2017 End of Summer Award and Thank You Celebration on Wednesday September 13th from 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM at the El Portal Community Center. This event will announce the recipients of the 2017 Partnership Award, and recognize all employees for your hard work this summer. A BBQ dinner will be served.  (S. Diaz)

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Yosemite Bear Facts August 20th to September 2nd, 2017

2017 Total Bear Incidents: 31

2017 Total Property Damage: $1,671

 

Compared to this same week 2016 (the lowest year on record for bear incidents), bear incidents in 2017 are down by 0% and bear damages are down by 73%. Compared to 1998 (when incidents in the park peaked), bear incidents in 2017 are down by 97%, and damages are down by over 99%.

 

Bear Activity Summary: The most recent bear incident happened in Yosemite at Ten Lakes when a bear got an apple from a backpack. Bears have also been seen in Yosemite Valley in picnic areas, and trails, and also throughout the wilderness. Although bear activity has slowed down over the past couple of weeks, this is the time of year when bears are starting to prepare for winter hibernation by eating high protein foods like acorns.

 

It is important to remain vigilant with your food storage to continue to help protect bears.  Please make an effort to clean out your vehicles of any food or attractant, close windows in residences, hotel rooms, and other buildings when they are unoccupied, and stay within arm’s reach of any food that you have out in the park unless it’s otherwise stored properly where a bear can’t get to it.

 

Red Bear, Dead Bear: So far, 19 bears have been hit by vehicles. PLEASE help protect wildlife by obeying speed limits and being prepared to stop for animals in roadways.

 

Fascinating Bear Fact:  There are 16 sub-species of the American black bear (Ursus americanus). The California sub-species lives in Yosemite: Ursus americanus californiensis.

 

Please report bear incidents and sightings: Call the Save-A-Bear Hotline at 209-372-0322 or e-mail yose_bear_mgmt@nps.gov.

 

Other Wildlife Sightings:  Mountain lions have been reported in El Portal, and at Merced Lake this week. For more information on mountain lions in Yosemite National Park, please visit the National Park Service website, http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/mountainlion.htm.  (C. Lee-Roney)

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Yosemite Hospitality Operations

- Raft rentals closed for the season September 4, 2017

- Big Trees Stable season has been extended. The stable will be open for two-hour horseback/mule trail rides until 9/27. Visitors can make reservations online at http://www.travelyosemite.com/things-to-do/horseback-mule-riding  (L. Cesaro)

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Bridalveil Creek Campground

Bridalveil Creek Campground has closed for the season due to fires in the area and extremely smoky conditions. Campers with upcoming reservations for Group or Horse Camp will be contacted directly by campground staff and will be fully refunded. Callers with questions may contact the Wawona Campground office at 209-375-9535.  (E. Bissmeyer)

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Glacier Point Overflow Shuttle

Shuttle service between Glacier Point and Badger Pass is expected to end for the season after this coming weekend.  ( M. Roubal)

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Glacier Point Road Open

The Glacier Point Road has reopened. Expect heavy smoke in the Bridalveil Creek Campground area.  (J. Trust)

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Power Outage For Tuolumne Meadows September 11

Southern California Edision will be performing work on their Hydro Substation and will be completing some maintenance activities at the Poole Plant Powerhouse that services Yosemite National Park. This maintenance will require the Circuit that feeds the park to be down for a day. The outage will take place Monday September 11th from 9am-3pm. For more information email Adrianna.Jones@sce.com.  (J. Keyes)

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Hetch Hetchy Day Use Hours

The Hetch Hetchy Day Use hours will be 8am to 7pm starting September 5th through October 31st. (C. Flores)

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Winter Volunteers Needed

Its never too early to start thinking about snow! Wilderness Patrol is looking for 2 full-time volunteers for the winter season at the Badger Pass Ranger Station. Volunteers will issue overnight permits, perform Nordic ski patrols, assist with snow surveys, and participate in SAR and EMS incidents as their training allows. Volunteers work from December through early April. Housing will be provided in the Yosemite Valley. Experience skiing and WFR/EMT certification is preferred but not required. If interested, please send a resume to Kristin_Kirschner@nps.gov.  (K. Kirschner)

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Job Opportunity Announcement: Volunteer Program Manager GS-09/11

This position is located in the Division of Interpretation and Education at Yosemite National Park. The primary purpose of this position is provide guidance and leadership in the decision making and supervision of the Volunteer Program Operation and is responsible for the planning, developing, and executing all aspects of the park wide volunteer program.

Opening Date: 09/05/2017  Closing Date: 09/11/2017

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/478633100

For more information contact Laura Walsh at laura_walsh@nps.gov.  (L. Walsh)

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Job Opportunity Announcement: Supervisory Park Ranger(I) GS-11

This position is located in the Division of Interpretation and Education at Yosemite National Park and serves as first line supervisor to 4-5 permanent park ranger (GS-7/9), and second line supervisor to seasonal park rangers (GS-4 through GS-7), student interns, SCAs, and volunteers.

Opening Date: 09/05/2017  Closing Date: 09/11/2017

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/478628500

For more information contact Laura Walsh at laura_walsh@nps.gov.  (L. Walsh)

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Gateway Expressions Student Art, Photography, and Poetry Contest

The 7th Annual Gateway Expressions Student Art, Photography and Poetry Contest is now open. Students in grades K-12 are invited to participate. Winning artwork will be featured in an exhibit at The Ansel Adams Gallery. Submissions are due Friday, October 13th so there is plenty of time to join! For more information, contest guidelines, and entry forms please call (209) 375-9503 or e-mail yose_education@nps.gov.  (A. Guzman)

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No Limits Adventure Camp - Press Release

Yosemite Valley September 5 - 9

Over 30 years ago, Mark Wellman was paralyzed in a climbing accident in the Sierra Mountains but didn’t let it slow down his passin for exploring the mountains and wilderness.  He made the first paraplegic ascents of Half Dome and El Capitan and pioneered techniques for adaptive rock climbing for people with disabilities. Now, he’s sharing that passion by bringing a group of ten people who use wheelchairs on a multi-day adventure camp in Yosemite Valley.  People with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities will get to experience rock climbing on Yosemite’s granite walls, handcycling below Half Dome and Yosemite Falls, and the camaraderie of camping next to the Merced River during the No Limits Adventure Camp in Yosemite.  Many of the campers have never been to Yosemite Valley or experienced rock climbing.

 

The No Limits Adventure Camp is funded by a grant from the Yosemite Conservancy.  No Limits is partnering with the Yosemite Mountaineering School to provide the climbing activity and BORP Adaptive Sports from the San Francisco Bay Area to provide the cycling activities.

 

Adaptive Rock Climbing is made possible for people with disabilities through the specialized equipment and techniques developed by Mark Wellman and other climbers.  Traditional climbing equipment such as pulleys, belay devices, and rope ascenders are combined with special seats, harnesses, and grips that allow people with limited leg or arm function to ascend the wall.

 

Cycling is made possible through handcycles and other bikes designed specifically for people with a wide range of abilities.   In addition to the bikes being powered by arms rather than legs, some have modified brakes and shifters for people with limited hand function as well.

 

The camp will be based at Yosemite Valley’s Housekeeping Camp.

 

For more information contact Greg Milano at (415)271-0647 or gregmilano@borp.org.  (J. Richards)

 

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CONSTRUCTION & TRAFFIC DELAYS

 

Striping Big Oak Flat Road & Hodgdon Meadow Road

Beginning September 5th contractors will be striping Big Oak Flat Road, and Hodgdon Meadow Road. There will be road delays between the hours of 8:00 PM and 6:00 AM. Road delays will be no longer than 15 minutes.  (J. Crow)

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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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