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article imageFirst fire for summer in Yosemite National Park

By Gar Swaffar     Jun 27, 2011 in Environment
Dry lightning and even lightning associated with thunderstorms is a larger problem in spring and summer in the back country wilderness of Yosemite National Park. (6/28/11 update)
On June 5th a lightning storm moved through Tuolumne and Stanislaus counties in California, with plenty of snow pack left above 7,000 ft. (2,130 m.) the hope was to get by without a negative result.
Today though the "Bald Fire" was reported at the 6,200 ft. level in Yosemite between Camp Mather and Highway 120 near Bald Mountain as having been first seen on June 24th.
The fire has grown to only 210 acres so far, and the area is very sparsely populated by homesteaders with structures being few and far between. But because of the structures being threatened by any significant growth of the fire, the standard policy of "Let it burn" is being set aside.
Due in part to the rugged and extremely steep terrain involved, five "Hot Shot" crews are being utilized with a total of 130 firefighters on the fire line, along with helicopters. The normal practice of cutting lines around the fire to suppress it are not used in designated wilderness areas. Instead, Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics are employed.(MIST)
The Bald fire is located within the footprint of the largest fire ever recorded in the history of Yosemite NP, the Ackerson Complex fire in 1996 comprised of 13 separate fires which burned nearly 60,000 acres when it was finally over.
The current Bald Fire will be complicated by the next weather system moving into the area on Tuesday June 28th. While rain is forecast and even a possibility of snow above 7,000-8,000 ft. it is also very likely to carry thunderstorms too. Winds of ten to twenty mile per hour along with some gusts reaching forty five mph may cause trouble for the firefighters.
UPDATE: 6/28/11 1700 PST
The Bald fire topped out at just over 200 acres and is now fully contained.
More about Yosemite, Fire, bald fire, National park, yosemite fire
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