Ferguson Fire spreads across Highway 41, moves deeper into Yosemite

The fire is well established on the east side of Highway 41 and has crossed Glacier Point Road

(UPDATED at 5:20 a.m. PDT August 4, 2018)

map Ferguson Fire
Map showing the perimeter of the Ferguson Fire at 1:30 a.m. PDT August 4, 2018. The red shaded areas represent intense heat at that time. The blue line at the top is the 2013 Rim Fire. Click to enlarge.

These two maps of the Ferguson Fire at Yosemite National Park in California include the latest perimeter data collected by a fixed wing aircraft at 1:30 a.m. PDT August 4, 2018.

Friday afternoon the fire spotted across two highways running for almost a mile in both places — east of Highway 41 at Glacier Point Road, and across Highway 140 below Foresta. The slop over across 41 was approximately 200 acres at 1:30 a.m. PDT on Saturday. About half of that crossed over Glacier Point Road.

map Ferguson Fire
Map showing the northeast perimeter of the Ferguson Fire at 1:30 a.m. PDT August 4, 2018. The red shaded areas represent intense heat at that time. Click to enlarge.

Below is an excerpt from a Friday evening update by the incident management team:

The Ferguson Fire grew by 3,647 acres throughout the day and was at 77,207 acres as of 6 p.m. Containment is at 41 percent. Firefighters worked throughout the day on a spot fire that jumped the Merced River early this morning and is burning in the Crane Creek drainage southwest of Foresta. Aircraft dropped water and retardant in support of firefighters.

Bulldozers and hand crews built containment lines between the fire and Foresta. Engines and crews remained in Foresta for structure protection. While Yosemite Valley was not in imminent danger, dangerous road conditions, smoke and a loss of power prompted Yosemite National Park officials to evacuate the area until further notice.

Later in the afternoon, another spot fire emerged west of Wawona Road (Highway 41) and began advancing toward Badger Pass. Evacuations were issued along Highway 140 out of concern that shifting winds overnight could bring the fire back into the communities.

On the north side of the fire, crews completed tactical firing along Pilot Ridge on the Mariposa-Tuolumne county line. They will perform firing operations south along the 13 Road as weather allows to fully contain the fire’s northern perimeter.

(To see all articles on Wildfire Today about the Ferguson Fire, including the most recent, click HERE.)


(UPDATED at 7:17 p.m. PDT August 3, 2018)

map Ferguson Fire
The satellite heat sensing data from 2:43 p.m. PDT August 3, 2018, represented by the red dots, can be seen in the map above.

The satellite heat sensing data from 2:43 p.m. PDT August 3, 2018, represented by the red dots, can be seen in the map above. It shows heat where the Ferguson Fire, at Yosemite National Park in California, crossed Highway 41 near Glacier Point Road, and Highway 140 south and southeast of Foresta.

We hope to have an updated map Saturday morning.


(Originally published at 5:30 p.m. PDT August 3, 2018.)

map Ferguson Fire
Map showing the perimeter of the Ferguson Fire at 9:15 p.m. PDT August 2, 2018. The red shaded areas represent intense heat at that time. Click to enlarge.

Early Friday morning the Ferguson Fire in Central California crossed Highway 140 again, moving north toward Foresta which has been evacuated for a couple of weeks. Then in the afternoon it spread east, crossing Highway 41, also known a Wawona road, and ran deeper into Yosemite National Park.

The fire crossed Glacier Point Road which is the only way in and out for the Yosemite Ski Area, sometimes called Badger Pass Ski Area. The incident management team has established one of their fire camps at the ski area. As of late Friday afternoon it appeared likely that the firefighters and support personnel at the camp would have to shelter in place, since fire was on both sides of Glacier Point Road.

Smoke severely restricted the use of aircraft on the Ferguson Fire Friday. With low visibility, fixed wing aircraft, especially, can be grounded, since they fly low at 120 to 200 mph over rugged terrain. Helicopters fly more slowly and may at times be able to drop water when it is too smoky for fixed wing.

The National Park Service evacuated all non-essential personnel from Yosemite Valley Friday morning.

map Ferguson Fire
Map showing the east side of the Ferguson Fire at 9:15 p.m. PDT August 2, 2018. The red shaded areas represent intense heat at that time. Click to enlarge.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

3 thoughts on “Ferguson Fire spreads across Highway 41, moves deeper into Yosemite”

  1. Great posts, you are doing a better job than ABC and other news outlets covering the Ferguson Fire. Love your maps, they show all the important stuff and are up to date. Keep up the good work!

  2. kcra3 out of sacramento said last night that the two fires near clear lake have merged,you heard anything?

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