Yosemite Fire Information Update # 4 – August 1, 2005
A series of thunderstorms have passed through Yosemite National Park’s highcountry in the last two weeks. More are forecasted this week. Lightning-ignited fires from these storms will continue to spread naturally as long as they may be safely managed by park fire managers. Managed wildland fire use fires are routinely monitored to ensure that program’s goals are met.
Fire is a natural ecological process in Yosemite National Park. Each year, lightning strikes result in wildland fires that help shape Yosemite’s wilderness.? Naturally occurring fire allows forests to be thinned, opening the canopy and allowing sunlight through which allows for the sprouting and re-growth of plants, shrubs, and trees. Fire also allows for the recycling of nutrients to the soil while reducing the amount of dead, woody debris.
A second lightning fire, the Crystal Fire, was detected near the Echo Fire. The two fires will be managed together as the Echo Complex. These fires were most likely ignited sometime during a lightning storm that passed through the high-elevations of Yosemite during the week of July 18th. The decision has been made to manage these natural fires as a wildland fire use fire, allowing it to continue for additional resource benefit. All park trails and facilities are open.
?Below is a list of fires, including their size and location.
* Indicates the date the fire was detected.
The Echo Complex (Mariposa County): These fires show moderate potential for growth. They are burning in lodgepole pine and red fir. This area has been impacted by the lodgepole needle miner and fire activity will likely increase if it reaches areas with lodgepole mortality. There are four fire monitors tracking behavior and growth. Observed fire behavior includes creeping and smoldering with open flame with some torching in heavy fuels.?
The Echo Fire (*7/25): Fire size is currently 65 acres, and is located to the north of Echo Valley in the wilderness area of Yosemite. It is at roughly 8500 feet elevation.
The Crystal Fire (*7/28): Fire size is 2.5 acre and is at approximately 8900 feet elevation. It is surrounded by granite to the south and east.? There has been very little fire activity recently.
Additional Information:? The park website, www.nps.gov/yose/fire has information about fire activity and smoke effects in Yosemite.? (D. Schweizer – 8/01/05)