The first night without firefighting shifts went as planned for those battling the Rim Fire, with about 350 acres added to the blaze Monday and no growth overnight.
The blaze reached 256,528 acres Monday evening, but an infrared aerial scan Monday night confirmed no measurable growth.
The fire remained at 84 percent containment this morning.
Total personnel on the fire continued to drop, with 1,540 assigned Monday, a decline of 251 crew members in 24 hours.
Mop up and patrol remain the key functions of most crews as the fire holds more steadily within containment lines and burns into natural rocky barriers in the northeast, inside Yosemite National Park and the Emigrant Wilderness, as planned, officials said.
As of Monday morning, no structures were considered threatened. At the height of the blaze, more than 4,500 structures were considered in danger.
The total count of burned structures as of this morning was 98 outbuildings, 11 residences and three commercial structures. No structures are believed to have burned over the weekend, but one more outbuilding was added to the total after being discovered Thursday by aerial spotters.
Firefighters have been aided by more cooperative weather in the past few days — preceded by a week of high temperatures and winds that sparked dozens of spot fires outside containment lines.
Weather is forecast to remain mostly cooperative for the next week, with no temperatures over the mid-80s and even slight chances of rain Friday night through Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service. But a possibility of winds up to 30 mph over ridges is possible, according to public information officers for the Rim Fire.
Bob Shindelar, operation section chief with the Type 1 Incident Management Team, is in charge of sweeping burn areas to identify lost structures, and explained the process.
First, investigators are given maps that show structures in the areas from the best source they can get through the fire liaison office which coordinates with local resources.
Then they send in division supervisors on scene to document which structures burned and which didn’t.
They take pictures and other documentation, which go to the compensation and claims department, who contact property owners as soon as possible.
How long until owners are able to get to their property is “fire dependent,” Shindelar said. Safety and fighting the fire are priorities and they cannot be brought in until roads and areas are cleared.
“But it’s usually pretty quick,” he said, crediting sheriff’s deputies for actually escorting people into the areas on most occasions.
The fire crews that go on scene to burned areas that were already evacuated, like most in the Rim Fire, do not typically search the buildings, according to Shindelar.
They only do so if the Sheriff’s Office has notified them of a missing person or they have other reason to believe someone may be inside.
This has not happened during the Rim Fire fight, he said.
Dozens of residents have been given escort into the burned area to see their property, according to the Sheriff’s Office dispatch logs.