Yosemite National Park Wildfire Remains at ‘Zero Percent’ Containment

by Amy Myers

While fire crews continue to combat the Washburn wildfire in Yosemite National Park, officials stated that containment still remains at zero percent.

The news may come as a disappointment to national park and wildland advocates. However, that doesn’t mean crews are putting forth any less effort to extinguish the flames that threaten the beautiful and well-loved redwoods of the west. The wildfire, which reportedly began on July 7, has claimed hundreds of acres in just four days.

As the flames continue to spread, the national park gave a sort of status report on social media.

“The Washburn fire grew to 703 acres overnight and remains at 0% containment,” Yosemite National Park posted on Instagram along with a photo of an area experiencing high levels of smoke. “Evacuation of the Wawona community and Wawona Campground remain in place. The Wawona Road (Highway 41) is closed at South Entrance to Henness Ridge Road. Yosemite West remains accessible via Wawona Road from the north (from Yosemite Valley).”

“Firefighters worked through the night and aerial and ground resources are continuously being utilized to fully suppress the fire. Structure assessment and preparation work is on going in the community of Wawona,” the park continued.

Yosemite National Park Explains How It Plans to Protect Giant Sequoias

While the wildfire is still relatively young, it’s already threatening one of the most unique and beloved landmarks in the world. Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove is home to more than 500 mature sequoias. These ancient giants are a crucial part of our nation’s natural history and therefore warrant the utmost protection and preservation.

According to the park, “Efforts to protect these trees and the historic structures within the Grove include: removing hazard fuels, deploying temporary sprinkler systems, and utilizing protective structure wrap on the base of the trees as well as on the Galen Clark Cabin.”

Yosemite Gives Visitors Tips for Seeing National Park in Midst of Wildfire

Along with the update, the park also included a couple of tips for anyone still planning on visiting the park in the following days.

Here’s how to safely enjoy Yosemite National Park:

  • Be ready for “long delays” at entrance stations. The park reported that the wait time can be up to two hours. Consider planning your visit early in the morning or later at night to help curb the delay.
  • Don’t forget to secure your reservation. From May 20 to September 30, 2022, Yosemite National Park requires tourists to have a peak hours reservation for visits between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Consider bringing a mask. This time, it’s not for germ-based reasons. The park is already experiencing smoky conditions and poor air quality. Especially if you experience any respiratory issues, you may need to take extra precaution while exploring the national park.