Fire Near Yosemite Now Over 4,000 Acres

Yosemite, CA…The “Motor” fire that started from a Motorhome fire has now grown to over 4,000 acres and smoke is clearly visible from some areas off of Hwy 88.  Traffic on Hwy 140 going into the National Park is still affected.  Below is the latest update on the fire.

About 1200 Aug. 25, a motor home caught fire in the Merced River Canyon near Calif. Hwy 140 in Mariposa County. Fire spread to both sides of the Merced River, on the Sierra National Forest to the south and the Stanislaus National Forest to the north. As of 1900 about 1000 acres hab burned with the fire mostly moving up the north slope towards Trumbull Peak where a historic fire lookout tower sits. Spotters are directing helicopter drops in the area of the tower in an attempt to preserve the structure. The Sierra National Forest is directing the response.

Fifteen homes in and around Cedar Lodge have been evacuated. Command is considering evacuation in the Rancheria Flats area, a residential community on the Merced River Canyon. Current focus is on structure protection near Rancheria and Cedar Lodge.

In cooperation and support to the Sierra National Forest, Yosemite National Park has provided two “hotline” numbers for the public to call for fire informaiton 24 hours per day: (209) 372-0327 or 372-0329.


Basic Information

Incident Type Wildfire
Cause Motor Home Fire
Date of Origin Thursday August 25th, 2011 approx. 12:30 PM
Location Merced River Canyon
Incident Commander David Cooper

Current Situation

Total Personnel 849
Size 4,626 acres
Percent Contained 35%
Estimated Containment Date Friday September 09th, 2011 approx. 12:00 AM
Fuels Involved 6, Pine and brush.
Fire Behavior Fire activity continues in Moss Canyon, moving to the east. The fire has been active on the ridge southwest of Trumbull Peak. Divisions L and B south of the Merced River showed little activity throughout the night.
Significant Events Evacuations and Road Closures: Cedar Lodge, Incline and local Merced River Canyon Campgrounds were evacuated. Rancheria is under mandatory evacuations, Old El Portal, and Yosemite West have been advised to prepare for evacuations. Highway 140, from the Foresta Bridge west is closed. There is no estimation as to when Hwy. 140 will re-open.


Planned Actions Work on completing line constructionon Division M near Trumbull Peak, continued line construction near Eagle Peak in Division R.
Growth Potential Significant. The fire has made a significant run in Dry Gulch Canyon.
Terrain Difficulty The fire is terrain driven in very steep canyon slopes, and has burned to the top of the ridges above the Merced River on both sides of the canyon.
Remarks Good progress was made during the last operational period. Type one hand crews continue to play a significant roll in steep terrain line construction. Air support has also been instrumental in line construction support. Lines are completed on all divisions south of the Merced River with minimal fire activity. Local Law enforcement recommend procationary measures. Stay away from Hwy 140 heading to Yosemite National Park. Residence south of the Yosemite maintenance station are being evacuated. Rancheria Flats, a residential community on the Merced River Canyon is under mandatory evacuations.

Current Weather

Wind Conditions 2-5 mph SW