YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK-The Washburn Fire is currently burning within the boundaries of Yosemite National Park (YNP) near the Mariposa Grove area. The Mariposa Grove is closed indefinitely. The Wawona community was evacuated, including park residents, employees and visitors. We will add updates to this article, please check back often. Useful links are at the bottom of the page.
The Washburn Fire began on Wednesday, July 7, 2022. At 2:04 p.m., the Yosemite Emergency Communications Center received multiple 911 phone calls reporting visible smoke from the lower Mariposa Grove area near the trail Washburn. A full response to the initial attack was sent, including Yosemite Fire resources and collaborators. The Mariposa Grove has been evacuated and closed until further notice. It wasn’t long after YNP officials made a special request to use fire retardant in the park. This is not a common practice due to restrictions on the type of firefighting that can be conducted on national park land.
By 5:00 p.m. the fire had progressed to approximately 10 acres and permission to use the retarder was granted. Immediately an order was issued for 4 tankers to start fighting the fire from the air. By the end of the day, the fire was mapped to approximately 46 acres and several spot fires were reported.
On Friday morning, 7.8.2022, reports said the fire was extremely active overnight as it burned in drought-stricken areas infested with bark beetles and had been affected by mono winds throughout the year last. Original reports estimated the fire to be 250 acres. Once FIRIS, a high-tech fire-mapping aerial vehicle, arrived on the scene, the area was updated to 166 acres.
Late Friday morning, PNY officials issued an evacuation warning for residents, guests and employees of Wawona, including the Wawona Campground. Meanwhile, the fire continued to grow rapidly as people around the world watched. Media and news outlets feverishly covered the blaze while social media included continuous updates and photos.
A long day
Friday afternoon, around 4:00 p.m., YNP officials changed the evacuation warning to a mandatory evacuation for Wawona. Wawona Road, including Highway 41 in the park, was closed from the south and traffic was only allowed to head north into the park. A Red Cross shelter has been opened in Bootjack at New Life Christian Fellowship on Cole Road near the town of Mariposa.
By the time the sun went down on Friday, the fire was mapped again by FIRIS, but their report was not available until the following morning. The fire remained active overnight, and crews continued to fight the battle to keep it clear of Wawona and Mariposa Grove.
Saturday (7.9.2022) Morning
As the sun rose on a beautiful Saturday morning, reports began pouring in of the Washburn fire. The FIRIS mapping plane report had come out and it had mapped the fire the night before at around 703 acres. Also, maps were finally released and we got our first clear idea of where the fire had been burning.
Later in the morning the fire was mapped once more and the main fire is 1120 acres with the largest spot fire to the north is 25 acres. Ground and air assets will continue suppression efforts today. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Please continue to follow this article for up-to-date information.
Official Inciweb Incident Information
Deadwood Wildfire Alert Camera
Yosemite Fire and Aviation Facebook Page
#FireMappers interactive map
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