Friday, September 4, 2009

Big Meadow Fire Update

Current Situation: Yesterday firefighters completed fireline near the Tamarack Flat Campground Road. Smoke conditions in Yosemite Valley, foothill communities and other areas of the park are improving significantly. Today firefighters will continue restoring roads, trails and fireline to their natural condition, mopping up hot spots, and removing hazard trees in order to open the roads as soon as possible.
Although road closures will remain in place through the Labor Day weekend, Yosemite Valley is open and accessible from Highway 140 via El Portal and Highway 41 from Wawona. In addition, visitors on the east side of the park can still access Tuolumne Meadows, Olmsted Point, and White Wolf via Highway 395 from Lee Vining. Hodgdon Meadow Campground remains open to visitors.

Special Announcements: The evacuation order for the community of Foresta will be lifted at 10:00 AM Friday, September 4, 2009. Residents and property owners with proof of residency or ownership will be allowed unrestricted access to private property and unburned areas in the immediate vicinity of Foresta.

If you are attending the Strawberry Festival at Camp Mather this weekend, please use the Evergreen Road. The Cherry Oil Road is closed through Monday due to traffic accessing fire camp at Drew Meadow.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Update on Big Meadow Fire

Courtesy of NPS and USFS:

Current Situation: Firefighters made significant progress yesterday on the northwest flank of the fire near Crane Flat. Burning operations were successful in stopping the forward progress of the fire along Tioga Road and towards Crane Flat Campground. Today, firefighters will continue to construct and hold the line near Tamarack Flat Campground Road. On the southern end of the fire, efforts are underway to return roads, trails and fire lines to their natural condition.

Special Announcements: The Big Oak Flat Road is closed to through traffic at the Big Oak Flat Entrance Station to the junction of the El Portal Road. In addition, the Tioga Road is closed to through traffic from White Wolf to the Crane Flat Gas Station. All road closures will remain in effect through Labor Day Weekend. Hodgdon Meadow Campground remains accessible to visitors. Visitors on the east side of the park can still access Tuolumne Meadows, Olmsted Point, and White Wolf.

If you are attending the Strawberry Festival at Camp Mather this weekend please use the Evergreen Road. The Cherry Oil Road is closed through Monday due to traffic accessing fire camp at Drew Meadow.

Fire Status
Fire Name: Big Meadow
Geographic Location: Foresta, CA
Acres Burned: 7,240 acres (11.3 square miles)
Start Date: 8/26/2009
Percent Contained: 70 percent
Expected Containment Date: September 10, 2009
Cause: Escaped Prescribed Fire
Injuries: 5, minor
Structures Threatened: 50 residences, 1 commercial,
25 outbuildings
Structures Destroyed: 0

Crews: 32
Engines: 94
Helicopters: 4
Air Tankers: 6
Dozers: 8
Water Tenders: 19

Total Personnel Assigned: 1,282
Estimated Cost: $10.8 million

Public Meeting: A fire update meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm tonight (September 3rd) at Tenaya Elementary School, 19177 Hwy 120 in Groveland.
Evacuations: The community of Foresta.
Road Closures: The Big Oak Flat Road from Crane Flat Gas Station to the intersection of El Portal Road and Big Oak Flat Road. The Tioga Road from Big Oak Flat Road to White Wolf. Road closure information is available by calling 209-372-0200.
Campground and Trail Closures: Tamarack and Crane Flat Campgrounds are closed. Trails closures include:
Old Big Oak Flat Trailhead to El Capitan, Rockslides to El Capitan, Tamarack Creek to El Capitan.

Fire Information: Fire information phone lines are staffed from 6am until 9pm. Phone numbers are:
209-372-0327 and 209-372-0669.

Cooperating Agencies: US Forest Service, Mariposa County Sheriff, Mariposa County Fire, CAL FIRE, CHP, American Red Cross, Delaware North Parks and Resort at Yosemite and PG&E.

Thoughts From A Dumped Dog

One week ago today my life was a mess. I don't remember all that happened but I must have done something really bad because my old masters abandoned me. I thought we were just going for a car ride. The next thing I knew I was alone in a strange neighborhood and my masters were nowhere in sight. I ran and ran for a long time trying to find them but they had disappeared. I got so hot and tired that I finally just lay down to take a nap. It never occurred to me that my napping spot was in the middle of the road. After all, I'm just a puppy, barely 3 months old (I think).
Anyway, I was laying there contemplating my next move when this nice lady pulled over in her car. When she got out and started talking to me I was really scared of her. I even barked and growled. But there was something so good about the way her voice sounded and the way she smelled that I finally crept up to her. I was so nervous that I lost control of my bladder. She didn't care. She picked me up off of the road and put me in her car. Her car was nice and cool and she kept using that soft voice and rubbing my ears. I settled right down.
We went to a lot of houses that morning but no one knew who I was. We visited the local veterinarian offices but they didn't know who I was either. She had to go to work so I got to meet a lot of really nice people. They even let me take a nap right there in the lobby.
Finally, the nice lady put me back in the car and said we were going to her house. On the way I got really sick to my tummy and vomited all over the nice lady's car. I thought she would really be mad but she just lifted me onto her lap and told me it was OK. When we got to her house I saw this big white dog in the yard. She was pretty scary at first but after a few minutes we made friends and started playing together. The nice lady told me her name was Bella. I got to play with Bella all day. I had so much fun!!
That evening I met the nice ladies husband. He patted my head and gave me dog cookies. I got my own bowl of food. When it was bedtime the nice lady and man brought me inside and let me sleep on a big, soft bed on the floor with Bella. I felt so safe and was so tired that I went right to sleep and never even felt like crying.
The next day the man and lady were very happy with me for not crying and not making any messes in the house. They let me play in the yard with Bella again while they went to work.
On Saturday they both stayed home with Bella and I and played in the yard with us. I was really getting attached to them.
On Sunday they were sitting by the pool together watching Bella and I run around the yard. They were having a really serious conversation, although I couldn't understand the words. I went over to the lady and looked into her eyes. She looked down at me, put her arm around my little body, pulled me close and said "Welcome home".
Now, the nice lady and man are my new mom and dad and Bella is my new big sister. I have a new collar (well, a hand-me-down from Bella, but it's new to me!!), have had my first shots and toe nail trim at Oakhurst Vet...even had my first real bath.
Mom says we have to work on the carsick thing. She also keeps telling me that I'm having my romeo parts removed. I don't know what that means but I guess I'll find out.
I really wish I could remember what bad thing I did so I could warn other animals not to do the same thing. It's really scary to be abandoned. I was lucky that my new mom found me. I know that other animals don't always end up with great people like I did.
To all of the Masters who read this, please don't dump your animals. If you can't take care of them anymore take them to a shelter or call the SPCA or Sierra Cares for help.