Yosemite’s Highway 120 Now Open; Big Oak Flat Entrance Station Open

Saturday, September 14 2013 11:58   Yosemite
UPDATE / Sept. 15, 2013: Progress continues to be made in fighting California's massive 255,560-acre Rim Fire, and the 77,919 acres within Yosemite National Park that has burned, with containment holding at 81 percent as of Sept. 15, 2013.

One of Yosemite National Park's main routes from the west, California Highway 120, also known as Big Oak Flat Road and Tioga Road inside the park, is now open to the public from Groveland, into the park and through the burn areas. Visitors now have access to Yosemite Valley from Highway 395 via Highway 120. Stopping along the highway, however, is prohibited due to continued fire activity in the area.

geronimoYosemite Valley is completely open and operational. The Big Oak Flat Entrance Station and Information Station are open, park rangers told OldWestNewWest.com Travel & History Magazine, and the Crane Flat Campground, gas station, and store are open. As of Friday, there was no smoke impact to the valley or much of the rest of the park.

The fire remains in the same area of the park, just west of White Wolf and South East of Hetch Hetchy near Bald Mountain. Firefighters are using natural barriers, such as rocky areas, to keep it limited in its progress.

Hodgdon Meadow Campground is still closed as is Tuolumne Grove. All facilities and areas along the Tioga Road west of Lukens Lake Trailhead are closed, including Tamarack Flat, White Wolf, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds, and White Wolf Lodge. The Yosemite Creek Picnic Area remains open and the Ten Lakes Trailhead Parking is now open.

The Hetch Hetchy Road, including all areas and facilities along the road, remains closed.

On Friday, firefighters were patrolling the burned areas looking for hotspots and continuing to hold and improve containment lines. Crews will continue to patrol, mop-up and monitor all areas along the Rim Fire perimeter. Hot and dry weather will provide conditions for continued fire spread in the Yosemite Wilderness north of Hetch Hetchy Wilderness, a Forest Service spokesperson cautioned. Unburned vegetation is expected to burn within the containment lines especially west of Harden Lake, Harden Lake Road and southeast of Hetch Hetchy reservoir. Suppression efforts continue on fire containment lines.

Visitors traveling on roads within the fire area should use extreme caution, according to the Forest Service. Fire personnel and equipment continue to work in the area, and hazards include smoke, weakened trees (that may fall) and hot burning stump holes. Visitors should not stop in fire-burned areas, leave the roadway or enter the burned area on foot, a spokesperson said.

For more information on Yosemite, visit the park's Website at www.nps.gov/yose/ .

To see our earlier report on the Rim Fire and it's impact on Yosemite National Park, click here.


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