Rim Fire Now Threatening Groveland, Cherry Lake, Lake Eleanor areas

In Fire

Rim Fire from the air by Al Greening

Al Greening was flying into the Bay Area and, passing by the Rim Fire burning just outside Yosemite, grabbed his camera and took this awe-inspiring shot.

The Rim Fire has burned over 60,000 acres and is continuing to burn unchecked. Last reports have the fire again spreading north, this time toward Cherry Lake and Lake Eleanor. More of our friends in Groveland have been evacuated as the fire moves west toward Pine Mountain Lake.

Here’s last nights report from Inciweb. This morning’s report won’t be up until after daybreak when commanders and air crews can survey the fires overnight growth.

Fire continues its eastward spread along Packerd Canyon Road and Pilot Ridge. Structure defense continues for San Jose Camp, Spinning Wheel and Tawonga Camp as the fire moves up the middle fork of the Tuolumne

The fire continues to spread northwest burning past Butcher Knife Ridge and moving into Grapevine Creek; northeast up the Tuolumne River Drainage from the Gravel Range past Jones Point Lookout; and continue to spread southeast edge along Hwy 120 to the east.

Firing operations have begun on Ferretti Rd. as the fire progress west towards the community of Pine Mountain Lake. Direct suppression methods have been successful.

The availability of fixed wing air craft is pertinent to the success of suppression operations. The use of Maffs C-130s and the V-LAT DC-10 has greatly improved suppression efforts. Use of Military Rotary wing aircraft continues today.

In the next 24 hours the fire is expected to continue up the Tuolumne River canyon, and continue its spread to the north and east.

Due to inaccessible, steep terrain and active fire behavior a combination of direct and indirect attack will be used on this incident. Direct line suppression efforts are impeded by difficult access and steep inaccessible terrain. Active fire behavior today raises safety concerns for crews adjacent to the fire’s edge. Smoke exposure within the deep drainage of the Clavey River will be an issue for fire crews as well.

Highway 120 remains closed to all inbound and outbound Yosemite National Park traffic. Ferretti Road and Highway 120 to Pine Mountain Drive, Smith Station at Highway 120, Cherry Lake at Highway 120, and Evergreen Road.

An evacuation order has been ordered for the area north of Ferretti Road to Elderberry Road. An evacuation advisory has been issued for the community of Pine Mountain Lake. Communities along Ferretti Road from Highway 120 to Pine Mountain Road and Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Smith station have been evacuated.

We have lots of friends and family in the area and on the fire lines. Our thoughts and prayers are with them today.

Photo by Al Greening via Flickr

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