Yosemite National Park Fire Managers have rescheduled a prescribed fire in the Bishop Creek area for early May. The prescribed fire, originally scheduled for the end of April, is postponed because of forecasted rain in the area. Yosemite is expecting up to one inch of rain throughout the park. Ignition of the prescribed fire is dependent on weather and moisture levels.
The prescribed fire is located near the community of Yosemite West in the Bishop Creek area. The total prescribed fire area will include 1,447 acres. The prescribed fire is designed to protect Yosemite West from potential wildfires. Additionally, the prescribed fire is designed to reduce surface fuels and ladder fuels. Heavy understory ladder fuels allow surface fires to spread from the ground to tree canopies creating undesirable crown fires, which are fires in the tops of trees.
Ignition will take approximately five days with active burning, and about two weeks to monitor burn down activity. The Wawona Road will remain open during the prescribed fire, however, traffic control may be instituted if conditions require. Firefighters, fire equipment, and smoke may be present on and around the roadway.
The park has submitted a smoke management plan to the Mariposa County Air Pollution Control District (APCD), and will obtain a burn permit prior to burning. Smoke monitors will be deployed in smoke sensitive communities to monitor air quality. The California Air Resources Board, Tuolumne, San Joaquin, and Great Basin APCDs have been notified of the prescribed fire.
Did You Know?
The indigenous people of Yosemite Valley have used fire as a tool for thousands of years. Fire was used to encourage the growth of plants used for basket making and to promote the growth of the black oak--a sun loving species--and a staple food source for American Indians from this region.