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Some Rim Fire Evacuees Return to Homes as Aggressive Firefighting Pays Off



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(Sacramento, CA)
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Latest U.S Forest Service Incident Update

8:55 p.m. - Some Rim Fire Evacuees Return to Homes as Aggressive Firefighting Pays Off

Evacuated residents in the Rim Fire area from Highway 120 to Buck Meadows, and most residents of Pine Mountain Lake, were allowed to return to their homes Saturday evening. The exception was for residents of Graham Ranch Road, beyond the cattle guard.

Only residents that can prove they have legitimate business in the area will be allowed into the area. 

Pacific Gas and Electric has restored service to the effected area, thus allowing residents to return. Fire officials warn that burnt areas of the fire can be very dangerous, as weakend trees, burning stump holes and heavy equipment may still be in the area.

Fire crews continue to work to increase containment, with a major effort underway to hold the fire east of the North Fork of the Tuolumne River. Fire lines have been strengthened above the community of Pine Mountain Lake, and addition focus is being placed on the eastern edge of the fire in Yosemite National Park.

0824 Rim Fire Helicopter

Refiling for another drop on the Rim Fire. (Photo byIan Morcott, courtesy Groveland Facebook Page)

Additional resources, including several helicopters and air tankers, are being utilized to slow the forward progress of the fire. Direct attack is being used in some areas of the fire and more will be utilized as firefighters gain safe access. In other areas of the Fire where extremely steep, rugged and inaccessible terrain exist, fire crews are using a tactic called indirect attack which creates control lines away from the fires active edge. 

A forest closure order is in effect for the entire Groveland Ranger District. Additional information regarding the closure can be found at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3660. Please use caution when returning home.

0824 Rim Fire Thank You Sign

(Photo courtesy Groveland Facebook Page

8:30 a.m. - Rim Fire Keeps Growing, Containment Slow

The Rim Fire continues grow rapidly due to extremely dry fuels and inaccessible terrain. The fire is 5 percent contained, with the greatest progress coming from air tankers dropping fire retardant on the area. 

The fire grew to 125,620 acres overnight, and there are now 2,672 people working the blaze. The fire is moving toward the Highway 108 corridor.

0824 Rim Fire Airdrop rotator A DC-10 makes an airdrop on the Rim Fire earlier this week. (Photo courtesy Camp Toulumne Trails)

Rim Fire Perimeter growth as of late Friday

0824 Rim Fire Perimeter

 

Basic Information

Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Under Investigation
Date of Origin Saturday August 17th, 2013 approx. 03:15 PM
Location Groveland Range District, Stanislaus NF
Incident Commander Wilkins/lawshe

Current Situation

Total Personnel 2,672
Size 125,620 acres
Percent Contained 5%
Fuels Involved

Brush, Oaks, and Pine

Fire Behavior

Fire behavior remained moderately active overnight. Heavy fuels continued to actively burn and consume completely. Fire behavior in lighter fuels were minimal due to humidity recovery during the overnight hours.

Significant Events

Fire remains to the west of Paper Cabin Ridge and Evacuation Advisories are still in effect for Tuolumne City and nearby areas along the Highway 108 corridor. Structure protection continues to be an issue with the Rim incident. Restrict access remains a concern for crews and equipment.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Continued line construction where accessibility and safety allows.

Growth Potential

Extreme

Terrain Difficulty

Extreme

Remarks

The Rim Fire continues to exhibit very large fire growth due to extremely dry fuels and inaccessible terrain. Rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior are drastically hampering suppression efforts. Aerial resources are being effective with MAFFS and DC-10 VLAT air tankers prepping locations in advance of the fires spread towards the Highway 108 corridor.

The very high potential for long range spotting however remains a significant concern for fire to advance beyond the retardant lines and allow for fire spread into the communities of Tuolumne City, Twain Harte and Long Barn. The Southern Area IMT1 Blue Team (Wilkins) assumed command o the fire at 6:00 A.M., August 23rd. The Rim Fire continues unified command with CAL FIRE.

Approximately 4,500 structures are threatened on the Rim Fire. Fire continues its eastward spread and is well into the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park. Orders for resources in support of contingency groups for Tuolumne City, Twain Harte and Long Barn will continue.

Preparations for additional Base Camps and Spike Camps are in progress to mitigate travel time of suppression resources and to limit exposure for the safety of firefighting resources.

Current Weather

Wind Conditions 12 mph SW
Temperature 68 degrees
Humidity 35%
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