Parts of Yosemite National Park Remain Closed Aug 18, 2018

Very slowly, life is returning to normal near Yosemite National Park.  Earlier this week, on Tuesday, August 14th, park officials reopened Yosemite Valley to the public.
The valley had been closed since July 25th.  For nearly three weeks, smoke filled the valley from the nearby Ferguson fire.  Air quality levels were in the “Hazardous” category, and visibility was incredibly low.  Many of Yosemite’s famous granite landmarks, such as El Capitan and Half-Dome could barely be seen.  But thanks to the heroic efforts of nearly 4,000 firefighting personnel, the Ferguson Fire is finally winding down.  It is 87% contained, and no forward progress is being made by the fire.  Air quality levels are now in the “Good to Moderate” category, and visitors from around the world can once again visit the incomparable valley.

Below are views from Yosemite Valley on Saturday.  Although still a bit hazy, the air quality is remarkably better, and blue skies can been seen.  The cameras are courtesy of the Yosemite Conservancy.  You can view live cams on their website:

However, the fire is still not completely contained, and portions of Yosemite National Park remain closed.  Highway 41, also known as Wawona road, remains closed from the town of Wawona to the Tunnel View area.  This is the road that provides southern access to Yosemite Valley from Oakhurst.  The Wawona area is open.  The Mariposa tree grove is also open.  However, Glacier Point remains closed.  Highway 41 is scheduled to re-open at 8am on Friday, August 24th.  If you plan to visit Yosemite Valley before then, you can enter from the northwest on Highway 120.  You can also enter from the west on Highway 140.

The Ferguson Fire has been costly on many levels.  Since the fire began in Mariposa County on July 13th, almost 97,000 acres of pristine California forest have been charred.  10 buildings have been destroyed, and $116 million dollars have been spent to battle the blaze.  And sadly, the fire has also taken the lives of two firefighters, and injured 19 others.

Almost a thousand firefighting personnel remain on the scene.  Fire officials say, they are now in a “mop up” and “repair” phase of operations.  But full containment of the Ferguson Fire is not expected until August 22nd.  And interior parts of the forecast will continue to smolder, causing smoke for quite a while longer.

For WeatherNation:  Meteorologist Matt Monroe

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


ALERT: A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania until 11 o'clock eastern toni…

2 minutes ago by WeatherNation

HAPPENING NOW - Flash Flood Warnings continue across Oklahoma through the afternoon with rain reports from today ne…

1 hour ago by WeatherNation

RT @NWSNorman: 12:50 PM - flash flood threat increasing across the OKC metro area. Please don't drive into areas where water covers the roa…

2 hours ago by WeatherNation

We're tracking showers and storms across the nation... Find us live on TV or one of our apps for the latest:…

4 hours ago by WeatherNation

Flooding possible with heavy rain in the southern Plains:

4 hours ago by WeatherNation

Hurricane Florence disaster response and recovery is in progress with NOAA:

5 hours ago by WeatherNation

TO THE RESCUE - Our cameras were there as soldiers continue to help supply water and aid to those in need after the…

6 hours ago by WeatherNation

Severe weather risk from Illinois to Maine today. If you live in the ORANGE are be extra aware, you have the highes…

6 hours ago by WeatherNation

It's the last day of summer! Using a gif, how do you feel about the return of fall?

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

It's not just the Carolinas, flooding threats continue to rummage across the U.S. from the Upper Midwest to the sou…

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

More severe storms expected this afternoon. @EmilyRoehler has more:

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

Scattered showers and a few storms this morning #rain #storms

9 hours ago by WeatherNation

ICYMI - Strong Storms ripped across the upper Midwest with reports of several tornadoes as well. Today, that same t…

9 hours ago by WeatherNation

Who's ready for #FALL? Soak up the last day of summer, a new season is here tomorrow!

11 hours ago by WeatherNation

We're getting new images of storm damage Thursday evening across Minnesota, this from Abby Mynor in Fairbault #MNwx

16 hours ago by WeatherNation
Follow Us