Rim Fire - Sunday Update: Full Containment Expected in Three Weeks

Photo courtesy USFS - Mike McMillan
 
Fire officials estimate the full containment date of the Rim Fire is Sept. 20, as progress continues. As of late Saturday, 222,777 acres had burned, with 40 percent containment. More than 5,000 personnel are working the fire. Update: 12 a.m. Sunday.
Latest U.S. Forest Service Incident Report

Update: 12:00 a.m. Sunday - Full Containment Expected in Three Weeks

Fire officials estimate the full containment date of the Rim Fire is Sept. 20, as progress continues. As of late Saturday, 222,777 acres had burned, with 40 percent containment. 

Some 4,500 structures are threatened by the fire, with 11 residences, three commercial buildings, and 97 outbuildings destroyed. Total cost of fighting the fire is $60 million, with 5.069 personnel assigned to the incident. Five injuries have been reported. 

0901 Rim Fire Burn Operation primary

A Silver State Hot Shots firing team works Saturday on the Rim Fire. (Photo courtesy Mike McMillan, U.S. Forest Service)

Firefighters made good progress Saturday containing spot fires in the southern region of the fire. The fire continues to advance further eastward into Yosemite National Park's Aspen Valley and Cottonwood Meadow. 

Burn operations between Hells Mountain and Clavey Meadow began Saturday, along with continued operations between Big Oak Station and Hazel Green Ranch. Natural barriers are limiting the spread norteast near Lake Eleanor. 

0831 Rim Fire Incident MapThe Rim Fire Information Lines are operational and staffed 24 hours a day, Sunday through Saturday. Rim Fire Information Lines are: 805-727-4775 and 805-727-4746. If these phone lines are busy, contact the Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor's Office at 209-768-9131 from 8am-8pm or contact the Groveland Ranger Station at 209-962-7825 Ext. 546, staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To see current smoke conditions in Yosemite NP, visit http://www.nps.gov/yose/photosmultimedia/webcams.htm

 

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 5,069
Size 222,777 acres
Percent Contained 40%
Estimated Containment Date Sunday October 20th, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Brush, Oaks, and Pine

Fire Behavior

Active fire behavior on the south and east sides of the fire today with running surface fire and group tree torching with some spotting. Moderate fire behavior with backing fire observed where fire was burning from ridgetops downslope.

Significant Events

Good progress was made on containing the spot fire on the southeast side of the fireline southeast of Pilot Peak Lookout. Burnout operations were completed near the same area between Big Oak Station to Hazel Green Ranch. Good progress was also made with burnout operations around the Crane Flat Lookout. Mandatory evacuations continue south of HWY 120 towards Yosemite National Park north of the Old Yosemite Road. The mandatory evacuations north and south of Bull Creek Road to Grizzly Mountain have been lifted. There is a closure of Tioga Road west of Yosemite Creek Picnic Area. There has also been an expansion on the north end of the closure area on the Stanislaus National Forest in the Rim Fire area (see Closure Order and Closure Area Map). The evacuation advisory continues for areas east of Highway 108 from Ponderosa Hills north to Pinecrest. Several locations o the west side of Yosemite National Park have also had closures implemented as a result of the fire's spread. Access and difficult terrain remain concerns for crews and equipment. Burnout operations continued slowly south of Hatch Hetchy Reservoir inside Yosemite National Park. Burnout operations were initiated between Hells Mountain and Clavey Meadows.

Outlook

Planned Actions

There will be continued direct line construction and plumbing of handlines with Type 1 crews to contain the spot fire southeast of Pilot Peak Lookout. Continued direct and indirect line construction accompanied by burnout oeprations where accessibility and safety allow along the northern and eastern edges of the fire. Burnout operations will be attempted in the Hull Creek Drainage. There will be reinforcement of contingency lines in advance of the communities of Tuolumne City, Twain Harte, and Long Barn. Mopup and patrol will happen along the southwest edge of the fire. contingency line construction will take place on the western and southern edges of the fire. Continued construction and improvement of contingency lines along Dodge Ridge will happen. A burnout operation is planned for the eastern edge of the fire in Yosemite National Park between the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and Harden Lake and along the Big Oak Road near Crane Flat as favorable conditions allow. Burnout operations on the northern edge of the fire between Hells Mountain and Clavey Meadows will continue.

Growth Potential

Extreme

Terrain Difficulty

Extreme

Remarks

Very active fire and extensive spotting continue to hamper suppression efforts. A signficant utilization and reliance upon aerial resources with heavy air tankers including the VLAT DC-10 and MAFFS is occurring with reinforcement of control lines in advance of the fire's spread, control of spot fires, and slowing the fire's advancement through terrain inaccessible to ground resources to allow time for indirect line construction to be completed. Type 1 helicopters are providing point protection and cooling areas where direct line construction can be achieved safely. The extremely dry fuels, highs winds and potential remain signficant concerns for the fire to advance beyond retardant lines. Approximately 4,500 structures remain threatened in advance of the fire on both the east and west sides. Fire is expected to continue its eastward spread father into the west side of Yosemite National Park east of Aspen Valley. Several residents remain under mandatory evacuation in the Scotts Ridge area south of HWY 120.

Due to inaccessible steep terrain and extreme fire behavior suppression efforts on active portions of the fire are being significantly challenged. Heavy reliance on aviation resources has been critical in an effort to slow the fire's progress to allow suppression resources to establish indirect control lines in areas where accessibility and safety can be achieved. The availability of heavy aircraft is pertinent to the success of suppression efforts.

Continued warmer and drier weather is forecasted for the next several days, which will elevate control concerns and slow burnout progress. Remotely piloted aircraft is providing realtime visual and infrared intelligence on the fire. Continued unified command with CAL FIRE.

 

Current Weather

Wind Conditions 18 mph W
Temperature 88 degrees
Humidity 18%

 




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