Friday, August 30, 2013

Re: [californiadisasters] Re: Wildfire - Tuolumne Co./Stanislaus NF - Rim Incident

Fire Update as of August 29, 2013, 7pm

The advisory evacuation notice for Tuolumne City, Soulsbyville and Willow Springs has been lifted. Firefighters began burning operations south of Hetch Hetchy and along Old Yosemite Road. Crews continue with line construction near Clavey Meadows near the 3N01 Road. Crews began removing fuels along the Tioga Road and Highway 120 near the Yosemite National Park entrance in preparation for the planned burnout. This work is to reduce the intensity of the burnout. The burnout has begun near Pilot Peak. Night crews will continue with burning operations as long as weather conditions allow, and will construct and improve firelines and provide structure defense.

Basic Information

Incident TypeWildfire
CauseUnder Investigation
Date of OriginSaturday August 17th, 2013 approx. 03:15 PM
LocationGroveland Range District, Stanislaus NF
Incident CommanderWilkins/lawshe

Current Situation

Total Personnel4,927
Size199,237 acres
Percent Contained32%
Estimated Containment DateFriday September 20th, 2013 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved

Brush, Oaks, and Pine

Fire Behavior

Very active fire behavior beginning earlier in the day as fire remained fairly active from the previous night. Running surface fire, torching, crown fire runs, and spotting.

Significant Events

Mandatory evacuations continue South of HWY 120 on the south eastern edge of the fire and towards Yosemite National Park North of the Old Yosemite Road. Closure of Tioga Road West of Yosemite Creek Picnic Area. Structure defense around Aspen Valley by ground and aerial resources was occurring in the afternoon. Evacuation advisories in Tuolumne City, Soulsbyville, and Willow Springs were lifted today. The evacuation advisory remains in effect for Ponderosa Hills and areas east, along the south side of Highway 108 up to Pinecrest. A Forest Closure is in effect for locations near, and in, advance of the fire. Several locations on the west side of Yosemite National Park have had closures implemented as a result of the fires spread. Contingency planning, indirect line construction and preparation to the east of Highway 108. Access and difficult terrain remain concerns for crews and equipment. Burnout operations were initiated South of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir inside Yosemite National Park.


Planned Actions

Burnout operations will continue South of HWY 120 on the southeastern edge of the fire from Pilot Ridge to Big Oak Flat Entrance Station. Continued direct and indirect line construction will take place, accompanied by burnout operations where accessibility and safety allow along the northern and eastern edges of the fire. There will be continued contingency line construction in advance of the communities of Tuolumne City, Twain Harte, and Long Barn. Mopup and and 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 large burnout operation is planned for the eastern edge of the fire in Yosemite National Park when conditions become favorable.

Growth Potential


Terrain Difficulty



Rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior continue to hamper suppression efforts. A significant 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. 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 farther 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 elecate 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
Temperature87 degrees


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