Monday, August 31, 2009

Tioga Road Closed by Big Meadow Fire

Smoke from the Big Meadow Fire has reduced visibility on the Tioga Pass Road and forced its closure. The Big Oak Flat Road between Yosemite Valley and Crane Flat (Highway 120) has been closed since last Wednesday.

If you 're planning to head to Yosemite you should check current road conditions by calling 209-372-0200. The best information about the status of the fire, including maps and photos, seems to be at the Incident Information System web site.

The photograph above was made last year during the Telegraph fire as smoke drifted up to Yosemite from Mariposa. The trees you see were actually burned in 1990 during the A-Rock fire. This area burned again last week when the Big Meadow fire got out of control; I guess enough brush had grown since 1990 to fuel the new fire.

I posted this photo to show that despite the smoke, there are still good photographs to be made in Yosemite. Any unusual conditions can provide wonderful opportunities. Here's another example on The Ansel Adams Gallery's blog.


  1. very eerie image. I never realized how big a presence fire is on the east side during the summer 'til moving up here. Sucks that fire is going on over there. Hopefully they'll get a handle on it soon if not already.

  2. Thanks for your comment Sierra. Yes, fire is a big presence around here. I've lived in or near Yosemite since 1983, so I guess I'm used to it now - there are always fires somewhere nearby in the summer. In 1990 my wife and I had to get special permission from the park service to drive out Highway 120 - closed by the A-Rock fire - when she went into labor. In a way that fire is a good memory, as it marked the birth of our son, and every time I drive by the burned places I remember that time, and know that the new trees in that area are my son's age.

    The Big Meadow fire is 100 percent contained now, and all the park roads are scheduled to be open by 5 p.m. today.


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