Park rangers say evacuation orders are expected to be lifted, Wawona area

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Hundreds of fire crews continue to fight the South Fork Fire. (KFSN)

The silent sounds of nature mixed with the sounds of fire truck motors and sirens are the melody visitors of Yosemite National Park have heard for days.

Hundreds of fire crews continue to fight the South Fork Fire. It grew slightly overnight-- now burning more than 3,800 acres.

Yosemite Park Ranger, Jamie Richards says constant firefighting efforts from crews both on the ground and in the air is showing good progress and containment is growing stronger along the fire barrier nearest to Wawona.

"The fire was moving away from the community, meaning the fire line, our crews, and our efforts over the last several days were successful we feel really good about the movement of the fire," said Richards.

Richards says the weather is cooperating--however, they are still keeping an eye on potential changes that could shift the movement of the fire.

Visitors, like Tery Mccade are coming to the National Park to see blue skies and granite structure but instead, they are being greeted with unhealthy air and a smoky haze.

"I come up here just for memories and to see the beauty--I can tell you this fire is the worst thing to happen around here," said Mccade.

Evacuation orders still remain in place for the many people who were forced to leave Wawona, but Richards says they're expecting to lift those orders for residents on Wednesday.

"We certainly don't want to keep people out of their homes any longer than possible, including park personnel-- people who live and work in the park," said Richards. "We want people to come and enjoy the park."

South Fork Fire Information

size: 3,820 Acres
containment: 17%

Planned Actions
Holding operation and line construction continues on the west flank of the fire. Spot fires in Division X now have access and suppression activity will be expedited. Strengthening of contingency lines around the community of Wawona continues. Natural barriers are being utilized as much as possible. Security for area closures and security in evacuated areas.

Remarks

Crews are being inserted into the southeast portion of the fire in an effort to halt the eastern spread of the fire.

Thunderstorm activity is expected to cause erratic winds over the fire area through mid-week. Gusty erratic winds associated with thunderstorms could cause problematic fire activity in Division A and the firing operations should they materialize. Crews continue to spike in an effort to utilize as much daylight as possible. The west flank of the fire is approximately 1/4 mile east of Wawona. The fire continues to pose a threat to Wawona, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. A combination of firing operations, air support, direct line construction and use of natural barriers are the current tactics being implemented to meet protection objectives.

Weather Concerns

A weak area of low pressure will remain anchored off the Southern California coast through Wednesday and bring a threat of thunderstorms to mainly the Sierra each afternoon and evening. Generally, light slope and terrain winds can be expected through the period with little diurnal change in temperatures and humidity. A slightly drier, warmer and more stable air mass will move into the district Thursday and continue through Saturday.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: Mandatory evacuations will remain in place for Wawona. The fire remains active along the western and eastern edges. The crew continues to strengthen lines with firing operations located east of Wawona in Division A. Heavy inversions continue to ground aircraft until late afternoon. When these inversions lift, fire activity increases.
24 hours: Mandatory evacuations will remain in place for Wawona. The fire remains active along the western and eastern edges. The crew continues to strengthen lines with firing operations located east of Wawona in Division A. Heavy inversions continue to ground aircraft until late afternoon. When these inversions lift, fire activity increases.
48 hours: Mandatory evacuations will remain in place for Wawona. Continue to aggressively suppress fire spread toward the community of Wawona on the west flank of the fire.

Related Topics:
weatheryosemite national parkforest firecaliforniaYosemite National ParkCalifornia
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