Environment & Science

Meadow Fire: Burning size quadrupled overnight; Yosemite trails and campsite closed

A view from Glacier Point on Monday morning, September 8, 2014, as the Meadow Fire continued to burn in Yosemite National Park.
A view from Glacier Point on Monday morning, September 8, 2014, as the Meadow Fire continued to burn in Yosemite National Park.
Stuart Palley
A view from Glacier Point on Monday morning, September 8, 2014, as the Meadow Fire continued to burn in Yosemite National Park.
A photo shared by Yosemite National Park shows the Meadow Fire burning in the Little Yosemite Valley area, a popular tourist destination.
Courtesy of Yosemite National Park
A view from Glacier Point on Monday morning, September 8, 2014, as the Meadow Fire continued to burn in Yosemite National Park.
A photo shared by Yosemite National Park shows the Meadow Fire burning in the Little Yosemite Valley area, a popular tourist destination.
Courtesy of Yosemite National Park


Officials say a wildfire in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park nearly quadrupled in size overnight.

The wind-whipped fire had burned through about 2,582 acres as of Monday morning, up from about 400 acres the previous night. The fire is burning within the Little Yosemite Valley on both sides of the Merced River.

Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said it is not threatening any structures, and the park remains open. The fire, however, has forced the closure of trails to Yosemite's iconic Half Dome peak as well as a nearby campsite – the High Sierra Camps.

Closed trails:

Freelance photographer Stuart Palley told KPCC that despite the closures, the rest of the park was functioning as normal.

"You know, tour buses are still going in. There was a film crew getting hang gliders set up at Glacier Point this morning to film an IMAX movie," said Palley, who said his photography has taken him to the scene of more than 20 fires. He visited Glacier Point for some shots early Monday.

Palley said visitors would still be wise to check for news on the latest conditions and heed any warnings or requests to leave from park officials.

Approximately 100 hikers and backpackers were evacuated from the fire area and 85 hikers and climbers were also evacuated from the summit of Half Dome by helicopters, according to Yosemite National Park. Cobb said officials were confident they had pulled everyone in danger out, but they would continue to look for anyone left behind.

The park warned that visitors, campers, employees are likely to have air quality smoke impacts overnight and early morning hours in Yosemite Valley. Current air quality updates for the incident will be posted on the California Smoke Information blog.

Calm winds forecast for Monday along with relatively high humidity were expected to help with the firefight.

Fire Tracker: Meadow Fire in Mariposa County

This story has been updated.