Rim Fire Spreading In Northern Yosemite National Park, Some Roads Closing

Though firefighters slowly are making progress on the Rim Fire, it continues to expand in Yosemite National Park. Bottom photo shows sprinklers set up in the Tuolumne Grove of sequoias in Yosemite in a bid to protect them from the flames. InciWeb photos.

Though much of Yosemite National Park is unaffected by the nearly 180,000-acre Rim Fire, the blaze is spreading across northern portions of the park and forcing the closure of some park roads.

The fire that was spotted August 17 is advancing towards the Hetch Hetch Reservoir, the main source of San Francisco's water, and is wrapping around Lake Eleanor. Smoke was reported to be drifting across northern sections of the park Tuesday, including along some sections of the Tioga Road.

According to park officials:

* The Big Oak Flat Road (the continuation of Highway 120 inside Yosemite) and Highway 120 west of Yosemite are closed between J132 near Buck Meadows (outside the park) to Crane Flat (inside the park). Beginning at noon on Wednesday, August 28, the only access to Yosemite Valley is via Highway 140 from Merced or Highway 41 from Fresno.

* Beginning at noon on Wednesday, August 28, the Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) will be closed from Crane Flat to Yosemite Creek. The only access to the Tuolumne Meadows area is via Highway 120 from near Lee Vining on the eastern side of the park.

* Hetch Hetchy Road and Evergreen Road are closed.

* White Wolf is closed, including the lodge, campground, road, and trails originating from White Wolf.

* Crane Flat, Hodgdon Meadow, Tamarack Flat, Yosemite Creek, and White Wolf campgrounds and Hetch Hetchy Backpackers' Campground are closed.

* Merced and Tuolumne Groves of Giant Sequoias are closed so firefighters can work on preventive fire suppression efforts. The groves are not currently in imminent danger.

* Wilderness trail closures: The area west of the May Lake Road and May Lake Trail continuing to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at Glen Aulin and then north along the PCT to Bond Pass is closed.

"The park’s boundary serves as the closure’s northern and western edge extending south to the junction of the Big Oak Flat Road and Tioga Road at Crane Flat. The closure’s boundary continues east from Crane Flat paralleling the Tioga Road a half mile to its south to the Tamarack Flat Campground Road," a park statement said. "The closure follows the Tamarack Flat Campground Road to the campground then continues on the Tamarack Creek trail then east along the North Rim trail to the Yosemite Creek Trail north to the Tioga Road. The closure then follows the Tioga Road east to the May Lake Road. The trails serving as the eastern and southern boundary of the closed area remain open. May Lake High Sierra Camp, Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp, and Porcupine Flat Campground are open."

Crews were working to safeguard the Tuolumne and Merced groves of sequoia trees, setting up sprinkler systems to wet down the groves and clearing away forest duff as best they could.

Comments

The smoke north of the fire is pretty bad. It's drifting past lake Tahoe and into western Nevada.