Motor Fire 80-percent contained; few hot spots found

FRESNO, Calif.

So far, the fire has burned 5,231 acres. The fire is located in very steep, rugged terrain making access difficult.

It started on Thursday after a motor home caught fire. Firefighters expect full containment on Sunday.

Authorities have also lifted all evacuation orders for the mountain communities near El Portal.

An infrared fly-over on Tuesday morning showed some areas of heat, but the fire had few hot spots.

Crews have the motor fire about 60-percent contained. Rancheria Flats was deserted Monday and its El Portal School was closed. Helicopters targeted their water drops just a few hundred yards away, on the other side of the Saddleback Ridge.

"The residents here did get evacuated two days ago when there was a threat at the upper end here that the fire might make a run at the top end," said Jim Tucker with the National Park Service.

The fire has now burned 5,231 acres. Firefighters expect to have it fully contained by Thursday night or Friday morning.

The wildfire started last Thursday when a motor home caught fire.


Significant Progress made in Motor Fire, Hwy. 140 to reopen at 6:00 a.m
Tuesday, Aug. 30

Due to significant progress that has been made in extinguishing the Motor Fire west of Yosemite National Park in the Merced River Canyon, the Evacuation Order for residents of Rancheria, Incline Road, Cedar Lodge, and the Trailer Court, has been lifted as of 9:00 P.M. this evening. This applies to residents only. Additionally, Highway 140, one of the main entrances into Yosemite National Park, will be open for all traffic beginning tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m (eastbound traffic, into the park, will commence at 6:00 a.m., and the westbound traffic, toward Mariposa, will commence at 6:45 a.m.). The road will be open to all vehicular traffic, without restrictions.

"We'd like to express our sincere gratitude and thanks to the Incident Management Team and all of the firefighters who have been working around the clock to extinguish the fire. To see the results of their efforts, especially in such steep and rocky terrain, is truly remarkable. The Team has shown tremendous leadership, skill, and fortitude in all of their work. In addition to the U.S. Forest Service, we'd also like to extend our appreciation to the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office, Mariposa County Fire Dept., Cal Fire, Cal Trans, Mariposa County Board of Supervisors, California Highway Patrol, DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. PG&E, Yosemite Resorts, and several other agencies that have epitomized cooperation and teamwork", stated Kelly Martin, Chief, Fire & Aviation Management, and Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite National Park has remained open during the Motor Fire, which began in the afternoon of August 25. Highways 41 and 120 have remained open and the park has continued to offer the full range of visitor services throughout the fire. Visitors to the park had not declined and visible smoke in Yosemite Valley has been, and continues to be negligible.

Fire crews have made excellent progress on the Motor Fire in the past two days utilizing air attack and ground crews. Although the fire is still active, the fire is no longer a threat to the communities. People utilizing Highway 140 are urged to drive with caution as helicopters will continue to be working in the area and debris may be on the roadway.

The Yosemite Area Regional Transit System (YARTS) will resume its normal schedule tomorrow morning. For exact times, please check

Motor Fire Basic Information

Information lines:
(209) 372- 0372
(209) 372- 0379

Fire activity was minimal today with few smokes showing. Mop-up and rehab operations will continue into the night. Demob has been heavy thoughout the day.

Size: 5,231 acres

Percent Contained: 80%

Estimated Containment Date: Friday September 09th, 2011 approx. 12:00 AM

Mandatory evacuations:: All evacuations have been lifted

Mandatory Road Closures: Highway 140 has reopened. No travel restrictions

Cause: Motor Home Fire

Date of Origin: Sunday September 04th, 2011 approx. 12:00 AM

Location: Merced River Canyon

Total Personnel:907

Fire Behavior:Some interior smoke was observed, mostly remains of heavy logs or stump.

Planned Actions:Crews will hold and improve existng lines. Mop-up operations will continue.

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