Mariposa & Yosemite

Fire temporarily closes Yosemite trails, roads

Two lightning-caused fires in Yosemite National Park have forced temporary closures of trails and roads, park authorities said today.

Travelers can expect temporary road delays and closures due to smoke and firefighters working along Wawona and Glacier Point roads, according to the National Park Service. Fire and smoke are visible along the roads, and drivers should use caution.

Several trails also have been closed for public safety. The closures are Smith Meadow to White Wolf and Aspen Valley to White Wolf. There is an alternate route to Pate Valley from White Wolf, which bypasses the fire area.

The Grouse Fire, located three miles southwest of Yosemite Valley and north of Glacier Point Road, involves about 2,300 acres and is roughly 50% contained. The Harden Fire on the north side of the park, west of Harden Lake and northwest of White Wolf, is currently 1,594 acres and 75% contained.

On the Grouse Fire, crews are working to limit fire spread to an area east of the Wawona Road and north of Glacier Point Road.

The Harden fire has reached 95% of the anticipated acreage that managers plan for the fire.

Both fires have been burning for roughly a month.

Crews are trying to complete work on containment lines before the weather changes. Forecasters say several low-pressure systems are heading toward the area, which could bring cooler temperatures and possible strong winds.

All park facilities remain open. Park visitors may see smoky conditions in the late evening and early morning and air quality may be affected.

Information about the fires is available at (209) 375-9574, www.inciweb.org/incident/1704 or www.inciweb.org/incident/1708

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