Rim Fire - Monday Update: Good Progress Continues, Containment at 70 percent

Mike McMillan - USFS
 
Firefighters continue to make steady progress from the air and ground, as containment of the Rim Fire has grown to 70 percent. Total acreage burned stood at 235,841 Monday evening. Update: 9:30 p.m.
Latest U.S. Forest Service Incident Report

Update: 9:30 p.m. - Good Progress Continues, Containment at 70 percent

Firefighters continue to make steady progress from the air and ground, as containment of the Rim Fire has grown to 70 percent. Total acreage burned stood at 235,841 Monday evening.
Very active fire behavior was observed today on the south and east fire perimeters. Types of fire seen today included running ground fire, group tree torching, short crown runs, and spotting. In the north and west fire perimeter moderate rates of spread were observed both in advancing ground fire, and burnout operations.
Good progress was made with burnout operations in the north and southeast sections. Reliance on aviation resources has been critical in an effort to slow the fires progress to allow suppression resources to establish control lines in areas where accessibility and safety can be achieved.
The extremely dry fuels, high winds, and potential for long-range spotting remain a significant concern for the fire to advance beyond control lines.
Rim Fire Information Map, 6 p.m. Monday
 

0902 Rim Fire Map
Incident Statistics
Acres Burned: 235,841 (368 square miles)
Structures Threatened: 4,500
Containment: 70% Residences Destroyed: 11
Fire Start Date: August 17, 2013
Commercial Property Destroyed: 3
Fire Cause: Under Investigation
Outbuildings Destroyed: 97
Cost to date: $72 million Injuries: 5
Total Personnel: 4,330

Fire Update
Very active fire behavior was observed today on the south and east fire perimeters. Types of fire seen today included running ground fire, group tree torching, short crown runs, and spotting. In the north and west fire perimeter moderate rates of spread were observed both in advancing ground fire, and burnout operations. Good progress was made with burnout operations in the north and southeast sections.

Reliance on aviation resources has been critical in an effort to slow the fires progress to allow suppression resources to establish control lines in areas where accessibility and safety can be achieved. The extremely dry fuels, high winds, and potential for long-range spotting remain a significant concern for the fire to advance beyond control lines.

Park and Forest Closures
Yosemite National Park has closed Tamarack Flat and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds, both located along Tioga Road. White Wolf Campground and White Wolf Lodge remain closed. The Stanislaus National Forest has issued an area closure for the entire Groveland Ranger District and for the Mi-Wok Ranger District east of Highway 108. Additional details are available from the Stanislaus Forest Supervisor's Office, 209-532-3671; Mi-Wok Ranger Station, (209) 586-3234; Summit Ranger Station, 209-965-3434; and Groveland Ranger Station, 209-962-7825.

Road Closures
Highway 120 remains closed from Buck Meadows to 1 ½ miles east of White Wolf. Highway 120 east/Tioga Road remains open from 1.5 miles east of White Wolf to the Tioga Pass entrance. Cherry Lake Road is closed at Highway 120. Evergreen Road and Old Yosemite Road are also closed. Highway 120 from Ferretti Road to Buck Meadows remains open for local residents and businesses only.

Evacuations and Advisories
There are currently no mandatory or advisory evacuation orders effective in Mariposa County. An evacuation advisory remains in effect for Ponderosa Hills and areas east, along the south side of Highway 108 up to Pinecrest. Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Buck Meadows has been evacuated.
For more information or if you have questions, please contact the Rim Fire at 805-727-4775 or 805-727-4746 and Tuolumne City Rim Fire Information at 209-928-1059. If you have questions about Yosemite National Park call 209-372-0327 or 209-372-0329.Updated information is also available at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3660/.

Update: 3:15 p.m. - Containment Grows to 60 Percent, 'Extreme' Fire Activity Expected

Firefighters are gaining ground on the Rim Fire, as containment has reached 60 percent, although the fire continues to grow, but at a slower pace. The fire grew more than 8,300 acres overnight, and stood at 231,088 acres as of early today.

Burnout operations on the northern and southern portions of the fire continued with success through the night. Southwest transport winds returned smoke to the communities northeast of the fire, including Reno, Carson City, Markleeville, Minden, and the Lake Tahoe Basin, and returned clearer skies to the Yosemite Valley, El Portal, and the San Joaquin Valley.

0902 Rim Fire Hwy120 burnout

A Hot Shot firefighter uses a drop torch during a burnout operation along Highway 120 Sunday. (Photo by Mike McMillan - USFS)

 

Fire Facts
Acres Burned: 228,670 (357 square miles)
Structures Threatened: 4,500
Containment: 60% Residences Destroyed: 11
Fire Start Date: August 17, 2013
Commercial Property Destroyed: 3
Fire Cause: Under Investigation
Outbuildings Destroyed: 97
Cost to date: $66 million
Injuries: 5
Total Personnel 4,616

USFS Fire Update
Line construction combined with burning operations continued overnight where safe conditions and accessibility allowed on the east and southeast flanks of the fire. There has been good progress made on the spot fires occurring near Pilot Peak and along the southern perimeter.

Fire activity continues to be active in the south and southeast with moderate rates of spread and torching. Today winds will be coming from the south southwest with up to 20mph gusts. Fire activity has been slow and moderate in the north end of the fire.

Today’s fire weather is extreme. Very active fire and extensive spotting continues to hamper suppression efforts and pose risks to firefighters. Air resources continue to be utilized in assistance with spot fires, slowing fire advancement, and control lines in advance of the fire spread.

Park and Forest Closures
Yosemite National Park has closed Tamarack Flat and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds, both located along Tioga Road. White Wolf Campground and White Wolf Lodge remain closed.

The Stanislaus National Forest has issued an area closure for the entire Groveland Ranger District and for the Mi-Wok Ranger District east of Highway 108. Additional details are available from the Stanislaus Forest Supervisor's Office, 209-532-3671; Mi-Wok Ranger Station, (209) 586-3234; Summit Ranger Station, 209-965-3434; and Groveland Ranger Station, 209-962-7825.

Road Closures
Highway 120 remains closed from Buck Meadows to 1 ½ miles east of White Wolf. Highway 120 east/Tioga Road remains open from 1 ½ miles east of White Wolf to the Tioga Pass entrance. Cherry Lake Road is closed at Highway 120. Evergreen Road and Old Yosemite Road are also closed. Highway 120 from Ferretti Road to Buck Meadows remains open for local residents and businesses only.

Evacuations and Advisories
There are currently no mandatory or advisory evacuation orders effective in Mariposa County. An evacuation advisory remains in effect for Ponderosa Hills and areas east, along the south side of Highway 108 up to Pinecrest. Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Buck Meadows has been evacuated. Evacuation centers are at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora and at the Greeley Hill Community Center.

For more information or if you have questions, please contact the Rim Fire at 805-727-4775 or 805-727-4746 and Tuolumne City Rim Fire Information at 209-928-1059. If you have questions about Yosemite National Park call 209-372-0327 or 209-372-0329.Updated information is also available at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3660/. All media are requested to report to the Incident Command Post to check in with the Public Information Officers.

Update: 12 a.m. - Progress Continues, Smoke Reaches Yosemite Valley

Smoke from the Rim Fire has reached Yosemite Valley, as firefighters continue to make progress. The fire has grown to 224,777 acres, or 351 square miles. Containment is at 45 percent as of late Sunday.

Fire officials say good progress was made on containing a 61-acre spot fire southeast of Pilot Peak Lookout Sunday. Burning operations and structure protection continue on the southeast and northern edges of the fire.

Smoke from the fire has reached the popular tourist areas of the Yosemite Valley. To date, 11 residences have been destroyed, along with 97 outbuildings and three commercial buildings. Total cost is $66 million. See the Rim Fire Fact Sheet.

The fire became very active Sunday afternoon after the inversion broke. Running surface fire, torching, crowning, and spotting were observed on the fires south and east perimeters. Moderate rates of spread were observed both in advancing surface fire and backing fire on the northern and western fire perimeters.

Heavy fuels still continue to experience complete combustion with high probability of combustion.

0901 Yosemite Falls Smoke 11am

Smoke in Yosemite Valley as seen from the Yosemite Falls webcam at 11 a.m. Sunday. The same view is show below at 1 p.m., as the smoke cleared.

0901 Yosemite Falls Smoke 1pm

Burnout operations have been temporarily suspended south of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir inside Yosemite National Park while fire behavior analysts and long-term analysts assess possibilities for opportunities for direct line construction south of Harden Lake.

Crews were successful in establishing more of a buffer between designated containment lines and the head of the main fire. In multiple areas more handline is being constructed for containment where deemed safe. Bulldozers worked to enhance the stability of contingency lines amid the fire’s edge and communities of Tuolomne City, Twain Harte and Long Barn.

Firefighters remain actively engaged in mop-up operations along the west flank of the fire in the Pine Mountain LAke and Buck Meadows areas. Significant progress has been made on burnout operations between Hells Mountain and Clavey Lake. Additionally, provided favorable conditions remain, more crews are expected to carry on with burning and structure defense operations throughout the night with the exception of the above mentioned areas temporarily suspended.

Park and Forest Closures

The Stanislaus National Forest has expanded the area closure for the Mi-Wok Ranger District on the northern end and the entire Groveland Ranger District. Additional details are available from the Stanislaus Forest Supervisor's Office, 209-532-3671; Mi-Wok Ranger Station, (209) 586-3234; Summit Ranger Station, 209-965-3434; and Groveland Ranger Station, 209-962-7825.Yosemite National Park has closed Tamarack Flat and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds, both located along Tioga Road. White Wolf Campground and White Wolf Lodge remain closed.

0902 Rim Fire Map

Road Closures

Highway 120 remains closed from Buck Meadows to 1 ½ miles east of White Wolf. Highway 120 east/Tioga Road remains open from 1 ½ miles east of White Wolf to the Tioga Pass entrance. Cherry Lake Road is closed at Highway 120. Evergreen Road and Old Yosemite Road are also closed. Highway 120 from Ferretti Road to Buck Meadows remains open for local residents and businesses only.

Evacuations and Advisories

There are currently no mandatory or advisory evacuation orders effective in Mariposa County. An evacuation advisory remains in effect for Ponderosa Hills and areas east, along the south side of Highway 108 up to Pinecrest. Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Buck Meadows has been evacuated. Evacuation centers are at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora and at the Greeley Hill Community Center.

For more information or if you have questions, please contact the Rim Fire at 805-727-4775 or 805-727-4746 and Tuolumne City Rim Fire Information at 209-928-1059. If you have questions about Yosemite National Park call 209-372-0327 or 209-372-0329. Updated information is also available at http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3660/

 

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 4,330
Size 235,841 acres
Percent Contained 70%
Estimated Containment Date Sunday October 20th, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Brush, Oaks, and Pine

Fire Behavior

Very active fire behavior observed today on the south and east fire perimeters. Running surface fire, group tree torching, short crown runs and spotting. Moderate rates of spread were observed both in advancing fire and backing fire on the northern and western fire perimeters. Heavy fuels still continue to experience complete combustion with high probability of ignition.

Significant Events

Good progress was made with burnout operations on the northwestern and southwestern edges of the fire. Mandatory evacuations continue south of HWY 120 towards Yosemite National Park north of the Old Yosemite Road. There is a closure of Tioga Road west of Yosemite Creek Picnic Area. A Stanislaus National Forest closure order is in effect for locations near and in advance of the fire. The evacuation advisory continues for areas east of Highway 108 from Ponderosa Hills north to Pinecrest. Several locations to 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.

Outlook

Planned Actions

Wildland Fire Modules will be assigned north of Cherry and Eleanor Lakes to monitor the fires advancement and contain spread in the rocky terrain with fingers of sparse fuels. Direct and indirect line construction with burnout as necessary south of Harden Lake in Yosemite National Park. Continued burnout operations planned in Yosemite National Park along Tioga Road as favorable conditions allow. Patrol and mopup in all areas except the southeastern edge.

Growth Potential

Extreme

Terrain Difficulty

Extreme

Remarks

Very active fire and extensive spotting continue to hamper suppression efforts and pose risks to firefighters. Type 1 helicopters are providing point protection and cooling areas where direct line construction can be achieved safely. 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.

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 15 mph SW
Temperature 74 degrees
Humidity 40%



Share   | Back