We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 
 We Get Support From:
Become a Supporter 

Full Containment of Rim Fire Expected Next Week, Landscape Recovery Could Take Decades

Mike McMillan/USFS

Mike McMillan/USFS

Latest USFS Rim Fire Incident Update


Fire officials say September 20 is the expected date for full containment of the Rim Fire in Tuolumne County, burning in and around Yosemite National Park.

The blaze has grown to be the third largest fire in the state's history, with 255,560 acres consumed.

0912 Rim Fire Briefing primary

Cal Fire Public Information Officer Ricard Hadley during a briefing on the Rim Fire. (Mike McMillan/USFS)

Sue Exline of the U.S. Forest Service says the cost of fighting this fire so far has exceeded $105 million.

"Our priority has always been to fight fire aggressively but also to look at costs, I mean that is also important so when resources aren't needed, we will return those back to their units but we are going to fight the fire aggressively." - Sue Exline, U.S. Forest Service

Exline says some areas will have to be replanted, and it may be decades before parts of the forest are restored.

There are still 2,764 personnel working the incident, and officials expect full containment in about a week, provided they can hold the line.

"It is really one where it is search and destroy, we are out looking for any hot spots that might blow across the lines, we are going 300 feet in finding any trees that are burning and extinguishing them." - Sue Exline

Exline says parts of the forest will have be replanted.

Groveland Hotel Owner Peggy Mosely says tourism will take a hit with the landscape reduced to ashes. However Mosely said the spring holds promise.

"After a major fire like this the wildflowers in the spring are going to be phenomenal, we have over 100 species of wildflowers." - Peggy Mosely, Groveland Hotel

 0913 Rim Fire Map


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 Mcgowan

Current Situation

Total Personnel 2,764
Size 255,560 acres
Percent Contained 80%
Estimated Containment Date Friday September 20th, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Brush, Oaks, and Pine, conifer stands

Fire Behavior

Fire behavior consisted of surface fire with slow rates of spread in the north and northeast areas of the fire. In the remaining areas of the fire creeping and smoldering were observed.


Planned Actions

Resources will continue to patrol, mop-up, and monitor all areas of the fire in addition to patrolling the developed areas interior of the fire perimeter and those adjacent to the fire area. Implementation of the Suppression Repair Plan will continue.

Growth Potential


Terrain Difficulty



O-Shaughnessey and Aspen Valley continue to be closed to public access due to a lack of power and ongoing mitigations of hazards caused by the fire. Significant progress is being made to mitigate these hazards and restore power. Small contingents of employees from Hetch Hetchy Power and Water have been allowed back into Mather. The pockets of unburned fuel within the perimeter of the fire area continue to consume. Approximately 1,285 structures remain threatened in areas near the fire perimeter to the north, south, and southeast portions of the fire. The Hodgdon Meadow Campground, Hodgdon Meadow residential area, Carlon Falls Trailhead, Merced Grove, Tuolumne Grove, the Crane Flat Lookout, and wilderness areas remain closed. State Route 120 is open to Crane Flat, and the Big Oak Road is open from Crane Flat to Yosemite Valley. The portion of State Route 120 (Tioga Pass Road) from Crane Flat to White Wolf remains closed. Facilities and areas along the Tioga Road west of Lukens Lake Trailhead are closed, including Tamarack Flat, White Wolf and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds, and White Wolf Lodge. Evergreen Road has been opened to Evergreen Lodge, but remains closed from there on. Old Yosemite Road, Harden, and the Cherry Creek Road remain closed. A forest closure order is in effect for locations within and proximate to the fire area. Unburned islands of fuel within and adjacent to the fire perimeter continue to consume and create spotting near or across planned containment lines therefore the percent contained remains the same. The reported containment percentage will increase when fire activity subsides. A public meeting was held yesterday evening in Groveland, CA. Fire suppression repair has been completed on approximately 18 miles of contingency line north and northwest of the fire area.

Current Weather

Wind Conditions 15 mph NE
Temperature 50 degrees
Humidity 35%

Sign up for ReCap

and never miss the top stories

Delivered to your inbox every Wednesday.

Check out a sample ReCap newsletter.