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Posted by: thepinetree on 08/20/2018 07:55 AM Updated by: thepinetree on 08/20/2018 07:55 AM
Expires: 01/01/2023 12:00 AM

The Deadly Ferguson Fire's Final Update, 96,901 Acres, 100% Contained & Two Deaths

Yosemite, CA...The Ferguson fire is now 100 percent contained and while we have reached a significant milestone there is still more work to be done. Firefighters will continue to patrol, mop-up and repair firelines. During the heat of the day, some interior islands of unburned vegetation will continue to ignite, but they are not a threat to containment lines. Resources continue to assess and remove hazard trees along roads, especially on the Wawona Road between Chinquapin and Tunnel View. The Wawona Road is expected to open on Friday, August 24, at 8am. This will be the final update, unless significant activity occurs.

Click Above for an Intricately Detailed Look at the Fire

The Ferguson Fire started on Friday night, July 13 at 9:36 PM in the South Fork Merced River drainage on Sierra National Forest. In the steep, rugged terrain, with scarcely any road access and a heavy presence of beetle-killed trees, firefighters knew it would be more than a challenge to contain.

In the first 24 hours, it had grown to 828 acres, as management of the fire was taken over by the Southern Central Sierra Interagency Management Team Type 2 and an incident command post was set up at Ahawahnee Hills Regional Park near Oakhurst, California. Under unified command between the U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fire, and the Mariposa County Sheriff, the community of Jerseydale among others were evacuated. Also on the second day of the fire, heavy equipment operator Braden Varney from the Cal Fire Madera-Mariposa-Merced unit was tragically killed in a bulldozer rollover accident while constructing line in a steep canyon.

One week later, management of the fire transitioned on July 19 to a Type 1 team, California Interagency Incident Management Team 4. Yosemite National Park joined the Forest Service, Cal Fire, and the Sheriff under unified command. On July 20, the communities of Old El Portal, Rancheria Flat, Foresta, and Yosemite View Lodge were put under mandatory evacuation. The following day, Yosemite West and Anderson Valley area were evacuated.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Congressman Tom McClintock, CA-4 (R) paid a visit on July 21 to express their support.

Old Yosemite Road was evacuated on July 22. Some specific areas within the communities surrounding the fire started to be allowed to return to their homes, and others continued to be evacuated. From July 24 to 31, many communities and subdivisions including Mariposa Pines, Jerseydale, Ponderosa Basin, Lushmeadows, and others were advised of mandatory evacuations and repopulations.

A memorial service for Braden Varney was held on July 23 in Modesto, California.

By July 28, the fire grew to 42,017 acres, and the following day another horrible tragedy happened: Captain Brian Hughes of the Arrowhead Hotshots from Sequoia & Kings National Parks was struck by a snag tree and killed. A memorial service was held for Brian Hughes on August 4, 2018 in Fresno, California.

Firefighters completed firing operations from Henness Ridge to the Merced River on the Sierra National Forest on July 27, and steadily made progress on containment lines. The fire weather transitioned from moderate to extreme pushing the flame front across Glacier Point Road and closed all access to Badger Pass. Wawona was evacuated on August 1, while El Portal was repopulated on August 2. On August 3 the residents of Yosemite Valley were evacuated and the Park Service closed it to the public due to multiple hazards from firefighters working in the area. The Highway 140 corridor was also closed that day.

Fire crews at the Badger Pass camp sheltered in place on August 4, as extreme fire behavior continued.

On August 5, the National Park Service closed Yosemite National Park indefinitely. Firefighters conducted strategic firing operations off the Foresta and Big Oak Flat roads, keeping the fire from spreading into the community of Foresta and access to and from Badger was restored.

As the new week began on August 6, the weather moderated which gave firefighters the opportunity to reinforce containment lines, mop-up hot spots, and complete firing operations along Wawona Road. Along the southern portions of Wawona Road, firing operations continued south of Chinquapin to prevent it from entering further into Yosemite National Park. Air inversions lessened, which allowed large interior islands to burn off quickly. Wawona residents were now safe to return to their homes, however several road closures continued due to road hazards.

The residents of Yosemite West were allowed to return on August 7. By now, most of the residents were allowed to return to their homes, and those living in Yosemite Valley were the last to return. Throughout this fire, firefighters worked diligently night and day to achieve containment objectives without compromising safety and getting residents back into their homes as quickly as possible.

The closure of Yosemite National Park had a local and global impact on those who had planned to visit during the active life of the fire. Economically, businesses were impacted in the gateway communities who depend on the summer tourist season to sustain them throughout the year. The impacts of smoke in the Yosemite Valley, Merced Grove, and other areas will continue to impact those who live and visit the Sierra National Forest, Stanlislaus National Forest, and Yosemite National Park.

Several community meetings were held for the residents of Mariposa, El Portal, Wawona, Groveland, Yosemite Valley, and Oakhurst during the most active times of the fire. Ferguson fire public information staff provided information at farmers markets, CASA street fair in Mariposa, and presented at a well-known climber's seminar in Groveland.

There is a lot of work ahead before the fire is out, including post-fire rehabilitation to curtail erosion and other devastating effects to natural resources from fire suppression efforts. Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams have started surveying burned areas to determine methods of erosion control measures.

Full containment was expected on Wednesday, August 22, however on Saturday evening, August 18, the fire was 100% contained. Interior parts of the forest will continue to smolder and burn for some time, causing lingering smoke.

The Ferguson Fire is now at 96,901 acres with 100% containment and 881 personnel currently engaged on the fire. During the most critical time in the fire, over 3,000 people were assigned to the incident from all over the world. There have been 2 fatalities and 19 injuries. 10 structures have been destroyed.

Yosemite Valley opened to visitors on August 14 at 9:00 AM. Wawona and Mariposa grove are open, but Glacier Point is not. Use extreme caution while driving, as firefighters are still working in the area.

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No Subject
Posted on: 2018-08-20 17:36:11   By: Anonymous
Hey wrinkle shirt John what's up the Donnell Fire must be out Thanks for the update!

[Reply ]

    Posted on: 2018-08-20 20:03:22   By: Anonymous
    HaHa Wrinkle shirt so good!

    [Reply ]

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